Reader Poem — Manuel Velez

Manuel Velez was inspired by the July dis•articulations prompts to write this poem:

A farmworker offers advice to hummingbird flying among the grapevines.

Never let them count the thrusts of your wings;
the sublte motions that stir in their minds
images of nightgowns floating across ballroom floors.

They’ll never see how each thrust tears away
at your body and weakens your soul.

Never let them see past your rainbow plumes;
the playful dance of colors that reminds them
of exotic pearls resting softly around their necks.

They don’t see that underneath the rainbow
lies the cold grey reality of a life spent at work.

Never let them measure the rhythm of your beating heart;
The soft vibrations that sing to them like a silent lullaby,
a serene moment of meditation.

They’ll never know that each beat is a growing
desperation for survival.

No, hummingbird, never let them see who you truly are;

A creature trapped in the monotony of labor.
A perpetual existence of constant movement.
A life whose dream is for only enough nectar
to survive another day.

Let them be mesmerized by your motions and captivated by your colors.
Let them believe that your true beauty is to be free.
Let them value that which least defines you
because it’s the only way they’ll find any value in you at all.


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