Happy Earth Day! In honor of such, our prompt today is nature. I had a few things going for me as I ruminated on this prompt today. For one, we took the ninth grade students to the Bronx Zoo in celebration of Earth Day. And, it was a beautiful day! And finally, I have been teaching William Cullen Bryant’s “To a Waterfowl” this week. As these three things combined with the Earth Day prompt, I came up with my own message from nature. Enjoy.
With a long neck extended gracefully,
The giraffe nibbles daintily on the leaves.
Another ambles over to a nearby tree
To chew and ruminate.
Nearby the ostrich jolts its way
Around the savanna,
Unperturbed and unmolested
By its towering neighbor.
The mothers form calving pools
To provide day care for their young.
The males come to play.
Even their form of battle seems benign,
As males engage in necking to claim power.
Few are hurt; fewer die,
And the boys are friends again
When the battle is over.
What is it about the giraffe that seems
Majestic, regal, stately?
Is it his height alone, his quiet manner,
His seemingly calm lifestyle?
Perhaps there is a lesson to learn
From our elongated friends.
Can we stretch ourselves to our
Full height; hold
Our heads high? Let us protect our children,
Leave our neighbors uninjured, and
Ruminate before we act.