Today's poem is by Kate Jenkins


You are five years old and growing
talons. The other playground parents
marvel at how often you fall off
the equipment without breaking bones.
You can thank your talons
and faulty balance and us for that.
We are not a graceful family
but with a little clawing we manage.
Even without your talons buried
in our calves, we know you'll never
leave us. Instead of holes in our
extremities, make them in the landscaped
backyard so we can plant lilacs.
We'll teach you to make something
beautiful with your deformity.
We'll get you shoes to hide in
and as long as you keep your temper
and avoid bragging on the playground,
you can probably avoid showing all
the other kids how different you are.
We don't imagine you'll really stand out
in any other way. Be grateful you have
your fingers, unlike some of your
less-fortunate relatives. Sometimes
when we watch you playing destroyer
of all mankind with your Legos
and little people, we're kind of proud of you.

Copyright © 2012 Kate Jenkins All rights reserved
from Barn Owl Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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