Brittany’s friend Ashley Asti, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, recently published her second book of poetry The Moon and Her Sisters.
The book is a celebration of beauty in all its forms and Ashley’s wish is that anyone who reads it feels and recognizes their own beauty, purpose, and power.
At the heart of the book is a poem about Brittany, a poem meant to highlight the power of living your truth, regardless of how others may label you.
You can read the poem below or treat yourself to the full book, which is available here.
You must be the moon’s sister, too
because when you are ripe,
you blaze in orange and red,
carrying the blood—
insuppressible, bold, conspicuous light.
You live with gusto
and deny that you wane:
when asked what challenges you face,
you greeted the question with silence.
Your parents tease about your becoming story:
when you were born,
they made the immediate decision
to face your Down syndrome and
you are made of heaven and earth—
of sunlight, moonlight, starlight—
Down syndrome alone can’t possibly define you.
And, yet, there’s your current work:
what has brought your name
to thousands of households?
the genies have granted their wish:
you are known in this way
not because Down syndrome defines you,
but because it doesn’t.
You are known
because you have shown that
no matter who you are
or how you’re born,
you can bring your light and bring your darkness
and, still, you can shine.
You are the kind of brave and beautiful we all need to see:
you are designed exactly as you were meant to be
and you do not apologize for it
or make excuses
or even consider for a moment
that you don’t belong.
You are fierce, soft, lustrous,
This unspoken knowing you carry in your spirit
must have spawned from your parents,
who have grown in you no other belief
than your ability to be you,
—to my moon sister, with love
—in celebration of Brittany Schiavone