Hopscotch in Heat
2022, Junior, Poetry & Spoken Word
One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Clean water for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the right.
Everyone watch! As the Earth ignites.
In motion, now with both feet down.
Mother Nature has fled the town.
In the cities the waves came through,
Try to flee and then jump two.
The air rises in degrees.
Watch yourself as you hold for three
The concrete burns but don’t resign,
‘Cuz you’re out if you cross the line.
In the air for one more time.
River water is now a crime.
To the right, hop! Then the left.
Watch your step for that cigarette!
Now with both feet flat, the game is done.
Crap, the waves are here!
Now begin to run.
Now begin to run.
My piece was inspired by Maya Angelou’s infamous poem, "Harlem Hopscotch," which focuses on the sense of duality between childhood games and adulthood injustice. Upon diving through the depth of Angelou’s diction in English class, I brought it home and weighed it with careful hands, which later transformed the lines and stanzas into the tell of a different story: the terror of less and less fresh water for future generations; more and more waste lining our neighbourhood streets; waves flooding coastal cities due to rising sea levels; and even the mere thought of concrete burning the soles of playful children. These visual images I ponder when global warming comes to mind shatters my heart. At the same time, my blood boils to see how people still view climate change as a theory completely out of their reach. Knowing in a few years’ time that these images will become a reality as clear as day, and climate change won’t be so out of reach for those drinking themselves into oblivion, I was fired with determination with the aim to spread awareness by creating something out of the box. Through a parody of Maya Angelou’s poem, I hope to bring more attention to this worldwide crisis by shifting and focusing the lens of many, and to encourage them to approach the ever-growing issue of climate change in a more innovative way. By capitalising on the duality of hopscotch and the issue of global warming, I intend to touch the hearts of all who grew up with the familiar childhood game.