Promise Heights Early Childhood Celebration 4.25.17

This morning we celebrated some very important milestones for our early childhood programs. Today we celebrated the 8th graduating class of Parent University I, marking the 150th family to complete the program. In addition, we celebrated the work of B'more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights, especially hitting 3 years with 0 infant deaths in our community, and the Judith P. Hoyer Centers. This celebration included current graduate's families, past Parent University graduates, and program supporters. During the festivities, we were honored with a spoken word performance "Learn to Love,"  written and performed by David Native Son Ross.


Learn to Love:

 I never seen a man

love a woman the way my father loves my mother

I wanna learn to love like that.


He swept a single mom and her two babies

off the ground out of the shadows of hopelessness

and as a little boy, all I could think was:

“God, his arms are strong.”

He struggled, but he made it known

that his commitment was life long

‘cause little boys need that from their dads


I’m glad he understood that

it ain’t easy to get a young boy that ain’t yours

to love you back

but he stayed right there

and never relapsed and man, I wanna thank you for that

I wanna learn how to love like:


How I never seen a woman

love her pumpkins for what they are

no spun gold, she embraced her straw and loved it

‘cause it’s worth more to her than glass slippers

and a horse-drawn carriage

her fairytale came true with a broke down

four door Ford automatic

baby it ain’t much I can afford but trust me

there’s gold in our marriage

I wanna learn to love like that


when she was in school—he held us down

when he was down—she held him up in high esteem

might not meet society’s standards but

he is her king

and still, his queen

keeping food and cash in the castle

“baby, I got you until we get back on our feet

no naggin’, no hassle, ‘cause together

we’re gonna fight this battle”

I wanna learn to love that


No, never did she ever

have a bunch of chickens

clucking in her front yard

all in her business

squawking about what men is and what men ain’t

she kept it quaint

this is the real deal for real

no pretty picture here I’m trying to paint

believe me, it ain’t

‘cause life ain’t perfect

we’ve seen some hard times

and those hard times hurt

but we weathered ‘emtogether

when there was no food in the fridge

yeah, there were nights they went hungry

but they fed their kids

who were just happy to live

unknowing, unbeknownst

unpaid bills, rent due, and lights off

still in that house, love poured every ounce

I wanna learn to love like that

to love without regret

without holding back

to love, regardless

despite the setback

hey, do you wanna know what love is?

Don’t watch reality tv

read reality weaved in the brilliant fabric

of this couple’s life work

worn, double-stitched with

twenty years worth of patchwork

and they’re still sewing

still going

still growing together, I tell ya

I wanna learn to love like that


Never have I seen a couple love like this

so strong for so long

I’m a lucky one

a real life Cosby kid

my own Cliff and Claire right there everyday

supporting and pushing me all the way

I tell ya, what I say is true

twenty years and never seen them argue

all they do is play

psych—I’m lying

they get into it every now and then but hey

they still kiss at the end of the day,

at night

my sister and I knew everything was alright

I wanna learn to love like


The only hand I ever seen him lay to her

was when he washed her back

rubbed her feet

helped her aching body get into the passenger seat

and the only put down she ever laid on him

was a lay-away receipt

I tell ya, I wanna learn mom

I wanna learn dad

I wanna learn how to love

like that. 


by David Ross ©2007


You can find more of his work at