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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cheerily, cheer up…

“Cheerily, cheer up, cheer up,
Cheerily, cheer up…”
A hundred robins sing at dawn in my yard
As they run, stop, peck, gobble...
Poor worms, beetle grubs, caterpillars, grasshoppers…
Their orange-red breasts merrily bobbing
Harbingers of spring.

Used to be killed for their meat
These chirping, chucking vagrants
Remind me of the wandering gypsies
Exterminated like the Jews.
A band full of song and melody,
Music and dance, stories and legends.
Fortune tellers, acrobats, jugglers…
Fascinating characters
Such that Victor Hugo would have
Esmeralda loved til death
By the Hunchback.

But the robins are now protected
What a luckier lot!
While the wandering gypsies are not.
(How could they not tell their own fortune?)
Wish I could do more when in Romania
But I could only give alms to their women
With babies in their arms,
Share bread with their barefooted toddlers
Growing with their dogs
Always on the road
Camping in the cold.

I wonder if the wandering gypsies
Know about the songbirds in my yard?
I wonder if they could sing merrily:
“Cheerily, cheer up, cheer up,
Cheerily, cheer up…”?

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