Kelly DeMaegd’s “Sheltered” after Megan Tibbs

Nesting Malagasy Children, photograph by Megan Tibbs

Kelly DeMaegd
after “Nesting Malagasy Children” by Megan Tibbs

I have never milked zebu cattle,
or lost my father, drowned
at sea during Cyclone Garfilo;
been evicted by ruthless men
demanding rent payment

in young girls,
or climbed a baobab tree,
to watch the hamerkop,
size of a crow, construct
a nest five feet across,

strong enough to hold a man.
At seven, I didn’t toil in a quarry,
crushing two large bags of gravel
a day to keep mother’s worry at bay.
Even so, I understand

how the enticing embrace
of 10,000 sticks,
decorated with tidbits
of brightly colored
paper, plastic, tin,

could lull me into forgetting
the Malagasy legend
that says anyone who destroys
the hamerkop nest
will surely contract leprosy.

Sheltered Kelly DeMaegd
Kelly DeMaegd photographed at Art of Poetry on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

About missmellibrary

A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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2 Responses to Kelly DeMaegd’s “Sheltered” after Megan Tibbs

  1. Keep up the good work, Kelly.

  2. patricia deaton says:

    Wonderful thought and research into the making of this poem. Great job, Kelly

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