May 18, 2011
By Anonymous

“Grandfather, look! I found this odd little thing!”
The grandson cried, holding out a bird by its wing
“Why, grandson, that thing is a bird!” The grandfather exclaimed,
cupping the lark with sympathetic pain

“How can it be a bird,” the grandson replied,
“when its head is brown and its crest isn’t white?”
“Well look at his wings, his beak and breast bone!”
The grandfather laughed, leading the grandson towards home

“But it’s not large like an eagle, nor fast like a hawk!”
The grandson yelled, a faint lisp in his talk
“Dear boy, not all birds have the same kind of traits-
some birds look different- depends on the state”

“But grandfather, does that make them all the same?
After all, some birds look different- they seem so strange!”
“I love you so much, but those birds aren’t so weird
it is because you don’t understand them that from the rest they leer”

“But what about the crows and the ravens that cry?
They are so strange, people shoot them from the sky!”
“Grandson, even they don’t ever deserve to be killed
its people’s unfairness that would rather have them stilled”

The grandson was silent for a moment in time
He looked up at the grandfather- the mischievous glint gone from his eyes
He seemed to think twice, his mouth twisted up sour
But then he opened wide and let it out with power

“But grandfather, if all of the birds are the same,
even if their wings and speed can’t pertain,
and the crows and ravens are just as important
as the birds who are beautiful and whose voices aren’t as potent,

If all birds are the same not because of their colours
and their differences are expected to be understood by others,
then why do you give the tanned boys a hard time
because they ‘have no right to spend my tax dimes’?

And why do you think that my sister ‘ought to know better’
than to be dating that ‘no good, midnight feller’?
What about the Spanish boys, who come looking for work?
You don’t call them equal- you call them ‘no good dirt’!

Grandfather, if birds are the same no matter their looks,
then what makes people different from the larks?

The author's comments:
I wrote this, while thinking about the discrimination present in the world. I was thinking about my grandfather and my uncles, and how they can be so dirogatory towards some races of people, yet so loving to me. It baffles me, and I sort of thought how people are like different species of birds- different voices and different feathers, but the same in so many ways. The poem just came to me after that.

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