by James C. Henderson

People often ask me, “What do you want?
I want the same things you want, I’ll bet.
I want to be treated as a human being.
I want to be respected as a person
who has hopes and dreams that are not denied
simply because others do not share them.
I want to be treated as an equal.
And I want to treat others as equals
even though we are not equal in all things.
I want dignity and justice and want these
to be seen as birthrights that cannot be refuted.
I want to be able to feed myself, to clothe myself
to raise my children, and to educate them.
I want to provide them a safe and healthy world.
I want to believe we are all in this life together
and that what we do we do for a common good.
I guess, as a wise friend once said—
in the end, I want what we all want:
to love and be loved.