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Poem: "Humanwatching" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Humanwatching"
This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"Humanwatching"


Frond and Whitechin crouched
in the brush, watching the interlopers.

Are you sure they're intelligent?
Frond asked as she watched one
relieve itself far too close to its nest.

Yes, we're sure, even though they
are small and they can't mindtalk,

Whitechin replied, scratching his ear.
They're not animals. They use tools.
They seem to communicate.
We just don't know how.


What are you studying now?
Frond wondered. The humans
were so strange, it could be anything.

Their eating habits, said Whitechin.
See, now they are packing up to leave.
This whole time, they have not eaten
anything out of the forest. We don't know
where they're getting their supplies, but
it's not from here. So they're no threat to
our food supply, no matter what people say.


Oh! That one's brown! Frond exclaimed
as a large male came out of their tent.
I've never seen a brown one before.
I thought they were all pink.

It was weird how their skin showed.
They hardly had any fur at all, only on
the tops of their heads, and sometimes
the males had more on their faces.

Yes, there are brown ones,
Whitechin said. See how the young
are halfway between their parents' colors?
They actually have quite a range, from pink
all the way to black. I have even seen
a rainbow-armed human, although
some people say they don't exist.


I wish I could see that, Frond said.
You make them sound so beautiful.
What are they really like?


Like red-winged blackbirds, only
the color can be in small patches or
all the way from wrist to shoulder,

Whitechin said. They're very scarce,
though. Even the brown ones rarely come
this far north. The pink ones roam farther.


Can we follow them? Frond said
as their rolling den pulled away.

No, said Whitechin. You know
better than to bother the wildlife.
We can examine their nest now
that they have abandoned it, though.
Come help me -- and watch out for
the scat, some of them aren't
careful about their leavings.

So Fern followed Whitechin
into the abandoned human nest,
eager to see what they could find.

The humans weren't always
good neighbors, so it was important
to know as much about them as possible.

* * *

Notes:

Sasquatch have been sighted across a wide range, with the densest concentration in the Pacific Northwest.

Red-winged blackbirds appear in much of North America.

Here is a typical rainbow-armed human.

American demographics are highly influenced by location. This dotmap shows that there are more white people in the north, with black, Asian, and Hispanic populations farther south. Unequal wealth contributes to this, because many people can't afford to travel. The poor and homestuck are disproportionately people of color.

Waste disposal is a concern in camping. There are instructions, but many people have never read those or seen them demonstrated. The results are obvious and unpleasant.

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