Whole: A Poem by Angela Barber

“Whole” was written by lifelong Boisean Angela Barber.

“I heard they want to put
a shelter in the neighborhood;
filled with the unhoused, unwanted, unloved.

How will WE be safe?
What kind of people are THEY?
Can’t it be built somewhere else?


What if…
Instead of pushing away
we choose to embrace.
Instead of seeing the differences
we look for the similarities.
Instead of judging
we choose to accept.
Instead of trying to block
we try to help.
Instead of shunning
we choose to welcome.
Instead of hate
we decide to love.

What joys will our new neighbors bring
to enrich our lives;
to expand our community?

Let’s try to house, want, love.
Open our hearts;
open our arms;
extend grace.

Perhaps we will surprise each other
and become WHOLE.”