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Poems for Velma
Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Our neighbor had grain growing
Little blackbirds in flocks mowing
His profits as they gobbled
The seeds on stocks that wobbled.
His shotgun cleared the sky,
The little birds would no long fly.
They fell in great masses, alas and alack.
We gathered them quickly into a sack.
Velma, who knew how she felt,
While she cooked them to melt,
In the mouths of her children who knew,
Nothing of what is and what isnít good for stew.
At 95 she now likes to proclaim and agree,
Her children were never, not once, hungry.
The taste of the little bird, we sigh,
Was good enough for a kingís pie
Oh yes, I remember it well,
The taste and how they fell.
The will of the Native Mother
Held to life and loveís cover.

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