Make Way for Ashley! A Birthday Tribute

A poem written on the occasion of Ashley Bryan's 96th birthday.

 

What a Morning! Sing to the Sun! 

Walk Together Children! Uh-Huh! Uh-Huh! 

Dancing Granny’s movin’ her feet. 

It’s Ashley’s day! Flying-High sweet! 

 

It’s been said that The Night Has Ears. 

Now the story’s told — his birthday’s here! 

“Beat the Drum!” says Beautiful Blackbird

“Shout it out and spread the word!” 

 

Make way for Ashley! 

No need to hype 

the Incredible Journey 

of his marvelous life. 

 

He’s selfless as The Giving Tree 

and Curious as George could ever be. 

The Cats all Purr when he’s around, 

Purrum, Purrum all over town. 

 

Like ol’ Br’er Rabbit, he’s clever, too. 

He knows — when the rest of us haven’t a clue. 

With Brains and Courage and Heart to spare, 

you Can’t Scare him, and who would dare? 

 

Make way for Ashley! 

Hear the bells ring. 

Let Lightning and Thunder 

flash, boom, and sing! 

 

Storyteller, artist, but how many knew 

he helped free Europe in World War II? 

Built Kenya’s children a library. 

Year after year, he plants more seeds. 

  

He just keeps giving. He never stops 

like Strega Nona’s magic pot. 

Cruella de Vil would even agree 

that Ashley is everyone’s cup of tea. 

 

Make way for Ashley! 

Isn’t he grand? 

In this Wonderful World

what a wonderful man! 

 

Charlotte the spider spun it eloquently— 

Ashley’s TERRIFIC, that’s plain to see. 

He’s RADIANT, HUMBLE, and what’s more, 

he’s SOME fellow, that’s for sure. 

 

Make way for Ashley! 

His light’s so fine. 

All Night, All Day, 

Let It Shine! Let It Shine! 

 

From the July/August 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s latest book No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller (Carolrhoda Lab), illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, was the winner of the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for fiction.
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Marilyn Hollinshead

Cheers for Ashley and for Vaun!

Posted : Jul 21, 2019 01:50


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