Recipe For Celebration

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about community.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Holiday

What word first comes to mind when you think of the word celebration? 

Do you think of all the people who make up our nation? 

Do you think of boats filled with people who dared to dream?

Who weren’t going to let their ideas be drowned out by a scream?

Do you think of us as a melting pot, where everyone’s the same?

Or do you see us as a salad, where each part has a name?

Can’t we be a bowl of ice cream, bright and fun and bold?

Can’t we see that our differences are just what makes us gold?

Let’s be like a bowl of ice cream,

But never let your heart grow cold.

For don’t you see that once your people came on a boat just like they come? 

Even though you see them as dirty, street people, and scum? 

When you look into their eyes, you are looking into a mirror.

When you look into their eyes, your past should be so much clearer. 

You can see people as you want them to be,

Poor, and needy, and after your money,


You can see them as your family,

See them as your friends,

See them as guests in a celebration that should never end!

So put up the balloons and I’ll bring the pinata,

He can bring the crepes and she’ll bring the frittata.

They can bring lasagna, someone will bring biscotti,

I know who can make dumplings, if you can make chapati. 

We can have arepas, tamales, and paella, we can have pizza, and we’ll play calabresella. 

Our cultures are all beautiful,

Our ways of life unique,

In diversity we find the life, and the freedom that we seek. 

Let’s stand up and celebrate our languages, our colors and our shapes,

Let’s know that we are more than just our bruises, scars and scrapes. 

Don’t tell them to speak English,

Don’t tell them how to feel, 

Don’t tell them that their home here isn’t really real. 

Yes, we have cons, but we also have pros.

We can be a light in the midst of all the shadows.

We can be a community that embraces

All of the races

All of our hearts 

And all of our faces

Embracing the collected culture of

A million different places! 

Why does our leader have to be one

That chases

The wonderful party 

Out of our neighborhoods

And into cases


He wants to eliminate all traces

Of those who don’t look like him

Talk like him

Or ever aspire to think like him

But who would want to cut a wall 

Through the threads that connect

Us all?

United we stand

But together we fall

Asleep we lose

And awake we can hear the call

Of the languages

That make up 

The quilted flag 

Of our land

No one needs to reprimand 

People for 


Being able to understand 

The language some people 

Have decided to demand! 

English is not the official language 

White is not the only color 

Rich is not the only status

And so when a person says

That anyone other than that 

Is less

I will tell them that

To our party

They are invitationless!  

They won’t see our bright piñata 

Or get to eat frittata 

They won’t learn something new

They will be stuck

They will be so lonely

With only themselves to

Be with everyday 

I hope they are sad

That they clearly can’t see

What means to be

Part of the best kind of 




This here and now is a new declaration 

In our nation?

Again we should see all ourselves as a


But we can’t do that when

People are scared to breathe 

People are scared to leave

People are scared to believe 

That all they heard about our country was true

When everyday someone else is

Carted off on the news

Because they came “illegally”

So now they have to lose?

Some of these friends 

Walked across deserts with no shoes

Nights so cold they turned all shades of blues

Harsh words can still bruise

So we should strive to help 

Some people with transportation 

When they are

Trying to arrive at the celebration

Because would it make sense

To say you love the universe 

But only want the stars?

Does a person buy a vehicle 

And cut it up for parts? 


The universe works together 

The car can’t move with only wheels

Division only steals

From all the things 

A heart can feel

When it opens

And unfurls 

To all the many stories 

From all around the world.

(Author’s Note: This started as a school project on immigration and then I added to it so it could be a little more about community. I hope you all like it, and strive everyday to invite people to our wonderful and diverse country of ideas and people and help ease out of things that oppress us all by oppressing some. It’s not going to be the best it can be until everyone, even you buddy Trump, can come to their senses and understand that we don’t have to be the same to live together and that putting up walls is just a way of further dividing destiny. I’ve found that my poems are doing pretty well so I’ll try to keep posting them when they fit the prompts. And when things open up again, I hope we can all start travelling again, even if it’s just around town haha, I had a question for people reading this. Would it be cool if I tried to do poetry reading online for some of my poems that are too short for here? If I could figure out how to do that and link it in my bio would that be an interesting thing to check out? And to A. Triangle, I know you mentioned wanting to do something with the King Fu Panda poem so if I set up something with my other poems would be interested in collaborating? Daryl Gravesande and I kickstarteted a television show together so I don’t see why we couldn’t do something like that too. Anyway, let me know, let me know, let me know! And if you guys are writing stories for this week I want to read them so tell me the titles. I’m so excited for the five winners; whatever pieces they come up with are going to do so much good for the country right now and hopefully make an impact that will last forever! I’m again so glad Reedsy supports progressive ideas and uses this as a platform for change through a common art and love! Again and again, major shoutout to all the lovely people I have followed and who are in my library. You all have been fantastic to read and I appreciate you abundantly. I’m running out of things to say on my author‘s note but accolades accolades accolades, stay safe and strong and brave and beautiful!)

June 07, 2020 23:44

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Noor Ahmed
16:44 Jun 12, 2020

I can not express in words how good this is. Your words literally punched me in the heart with colors and happiness. I felt something inside of me, like a new door. A door that I brushed the dust off. Again, your rhyming is on point! Absolutely love!!!


Jubilee Forbess
16:53 Jun 12, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm glad my poem brought some color to you today! :D


Noor Ahmed
16:55 Jun 12, 2020



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Noor Ahmed
16:56 Jun 12, 2020

Oh! I made something like a poem (without the rhyming). Since you are such a great poet, it would be awesome if you critique my work 🥺


Jubilee Forbess
17:04 Jun 12, 2020

Sure, where is it?


Noor Ahmed
17:04 Jun 12, 2020

It's on my profile, called "Inner Child" 🥺


Jubilee Forbess
17:05 Jun 12, 2020

Found it! Be right over.


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A. Y. R
11:58 Jun 08, 2020

This is a beautiful poem! I only wish everyone could have as a colourful outlook on life as you!


Jubilee Forbess
14:02 Jun 08, 2020

Me too! :(


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20:17 Sep 12, 2020

THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!! One of your most beautiful poems yet. It’s so powerful and moving and’re an amazing poetess, Rhonda! Keep writing!


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Ashley Higbee
15:30 Jun 18, 2020

This was a great poem! I loved your idea about the celebration and the positive, fun image I had in my head as I read that part.


Jubilee Forbess
15:50 Jun 18, 2020

Thank you very much for that!


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Praveen Jagwani
03:05 Jun 12, 2020

I found myself rapping along. It has a nice cadence and the rhymes didn't feel forced. The message of course is well received and sobering yet uplifting. Thank you for sharing Rhondalise.


Jubilee Forbess
03:18 Jun 12, 2020

Haha, fun! I wish I could rap too; that would be cool! thank you for reading, Praveen!


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Inactive User
16:31 Jun 11, 2020

I love your story! I have a new story! Please check it out!


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Katy S.
15:29 Jun 11, 2020

Wonderful poem, I am again, and again amazed at your ability to rhyme so we'll without losing any of the story telling aspect!


Jubilee Forbess
15:48 Jun 11, 2020

Thank you 🌸💕! I’m so glad you stopped by to read.


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Samadhee Ismail
14:45 Jun 10, 2020

Nice story!!! Really enjoyed reading your story! I also have written a story so if you can, can you leave a feedback?


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Zea Bowman
01:39 Jun 09, 2020

I thought it was brilliant to use a poem as a response to this prompt! You executed it very well (as you do will all of your stories), and I can't wait for more.


Jubilee Forbess
01:46 Jun 09, 2020

Thank you, Zea! I’ll be reading your stories too.


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Len Mooring
23:40 Jun 08, 2020

Very well put, Rhondalise. It's very easy to fall into considering many communities as an amorphous whole, but we each are individuals living as a separate identities.


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Avani G
23:29 Jun 08, 2020

Nice poem! If you can, can you please leave some feedback on my story?


Jubilee Forbess
00:12 Jun 09, 2020

Of course!


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A.J Blink
12:55 Jun 08, 2020

I totally love this poem! Especially the line "Asleep we lose and awake we can hear the call of the languages that make up the quilted flag" Absolution! Bravo Rhonda


Jubilee Forbess
14:02 Jun 08, 2020

Thank you!


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07:27 Jun 08, 2020

This is a wonderful read and so very true! Now as no country remains homogeneous anymore, it's futile to try to break us, but some try. I loved your poem, keep writing!❤️


Jubilee Forbess
14:03 Jun 08, 2020

🎼❤️❤️🎼of course!


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