(Inspired by René Magritte’s The Healer (Le thérapeute), 1967)

Oh, Mary, oh Mary, what do I do?
I have a rib cage—a real cage, too!
Birds are inside me.
I’m like a jar!
I have a bag full of seed for the birds I feed,
but the birds will never—oh never!—come out!

Even the times I put seed on the ground,
they still will not come out.
I wait for an hour, maybe two,
but they just peck at my cage.

Mary, help me! I feed the birds
a tuffin. Rejected.

My relationship with the birds
has given me a rib cage
and a chest full of feathers.
My cane is made of bird feet!
You must help me.
My cape is torn because of their beaks.

By Helena, 4th grade

Click the media player above to listen to the poem read on KPFT 90.1 by Tori, WITS Youth Advisory Council Student. The background music is “Nice Bird” by Short Hopper. ccmixter.orgProduced by Susan Phillips.

Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

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