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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: Exotic
By Benjamin Graber
05/19/11


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You stare at him
Like he’s a giraffe
Imported from exotic shores,
And whisper with a friend
(But loud enough he hears you)
About the knobs on his head
That make him look weird,
Or giggle as you
Invent a lame joke
About the length of his neck.

His weaknesses
Look outlandish,
And you feel free to
Give a laugh at his expense,
Or stare at him, until you’ve fed
Your selfish curiosity.

But he is no giraffe.
He knows what you whisper
And knows how long you stare,
With no concern for anyone
But your own inflated self,
As you treat the world as a zoo
To tour at your pleasure.
He knows, and it hurts him
With the sting of shame,
The sting of knowing that the world
Treats him like an exotic creature
From the jungles of Africa.

But there is nothing outlandish
About his blemishes,
Which are all a part
Of the beautiful creation he is.
The only foreign thing
Is your spite,
Coming straight from the ovens
Of hell.


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This article has been read 467 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 05/28/11
It is so sad that some in our society treat anyone who is different from them with such disdain. Many of these same people never even have met them.

I'm glad your poem paints such a picture of love.
Noel Mitaxa 05/30/11
"treating the world as a zoo" presents a very strong picture of rebuke. Very thought-provoking entry.
Carol Penhorwood 05/31/11
We hurt so many with our words and stares for many different reasons. Wish we could remember, "Do unto others..."
Phee Paradise 06/02/11
I love your way of telling a hurtful attitude. It's such a beautiful metaphor. Congratulations.
Michael Throne06/02/11
This is excellent. Such anger – the last lines especially are perfect, inspired. Well done, start to finish.
Beth LaBuff 06/03/11
Congrats, Benjamin. Just excellent work!