CultureArt & Poetry The Different Duckling [Poem]

The Different Duckling [Poem]

Rewriting that old duckling story, one verse at a time.

Right from the moment the duckling was born
she was carefully trained to be forlorn,
because unlike her blessed, happy mother,
who was soft and fluffy and white of feather,
the little duckling never seemed to fit-
a strange, different, therefore ugly crit.
And so she was tortured, taunted and teased
till her heart got dented and her soul creased,
so that when she peered into her mirror
all she could see was rabid fear .
And so haunted by that face was she
That couldn’t find it in her to agree
that she was even a duckling at all.
Because ducklings must be fluffy, you see.

Battered and bruised she looked to find
a place where she’d thrive with her own kind.
But she never could find that ideal space
where she could live with her different face
She saw that no matter who she became
she would be belittled, she would be shamed.
So instead of upping and running away
that duckling stayed back to find a way.
And so she saw that she very well could
rewrite old rules about bad and good.
With every new fight, she began to see
why she was persecuted, actually-
it wasn’t about her, at all.
The world is unkind to ducklings, you see.

So bit by bit she shook off their skin
and stripped of fear, she could really begin
to know that her ugly was actually fire
and if she refused to alter or tire,
the bulk of all their shoulds and musts
would lie in the rubbish, eating her dust.
So she refused to grow into a delicate swan,
flapping on manicured lakes and lawns;
and stopped wanting to be fluffy or white
So of course she was subject to hate and spite.
What meant power for her, they found ugly
and though she remained ferociously free
they never stopped trying to cage her, at all.
Because world is afraid of ducklings, you see.

(Don’t look for a moral, it is not here-
Enforced morals mean forceful fear.
Besides, this story doesn’t have an end-
ducklings like her are around every bend)

Featured Image Credit: Simona Cordero drawing

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