A piece of a poem about a very brittle thing

I’d like to share some lines from a poem that talks about brittleness and bravery,  although I will warn you that it is very sad. The name of the poem is “Paul’s Fingers,” by  Mary O’Neill, from her collection of children’s poems Fingers Are Always Bringing Me News. Although the poems in the book are not part of any longer story, I like how many of them pay attention to small but amazing things … something which longer fiction and chapter books can do as well, within the story.

“My fingers have held a fallen baby bird,

And felt fright jump under its skin,

And felt the hope of rescue,

And living begin again.

As its claws, weak as threads,

Clamped my fingers. Brave, but

too hurt, too weak, too thin” (lines 25-31).

O’Neill, Mary. Fingers Are Always Bringing Me News. Illustrated by Don Blognese. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1969. Print. Pages 18-19.


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