A Plea For Tenderness

Aunt Nettie's hills and downs that stretched
a lovely mile each way
Are being subdivided...Oh, sorry, sorry day
for furred and feathered friends she loved
In creek and wild rose hedge,
for little owls who fluted from the
Old barn roof and ledge.
The orioles and larks who sang across
the fields of clover...
The pheasant in their paisley shawls,
shy deer and quail seek cover,
They have no hands to knock on doors,
no words to tell their bitter need,
So for these gentle, helpless ones,
we write these lines
And humbly plead.

If they must perish, beauty dies!
Oh planners, plan to leave a place
To shelter deer with their velvet eyes.
Leave the quail with their wildwood
And their elfin grace.
We hope that every child can know
The sounds and smells that linger still
In older hearts, of lilac hedges,
of brush and barns, of creeks and hills.

We do not ask that progress cease...
that it brings growth.. not despair.
This is a plea for tenderness
for displaced beings... everywhere.

by Patsy Bryant

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