Birdfoot’s Grandpa

It’s been a whirlwind week getting back on track to “normal life” (what is that?) since the ‘fest has been over. Look for my sappy mushball recap at the end of the week!

Until then, please enjoy this poem titled Birdfoot’s Grandpa. I found this poem years ago while living near Ithaca, NY in the very vegan friendly ABC Cafe near Cornell University. A few times a month, me and the Farm Sanctuary staff would go there to feast on giant bowls of the best guacamole and salads covered in a baked tofu called tofu kan.  

One night I was flipping through one of the many communal books and came across this piece that so simply and innocently evoked not only feelings of caring for animals but how we can apply that sensitivity to ourselves and others. Enjoy.

Birdfoot’s Grandpa by Joseph Bruchac

The old man

must have stopped our car

two dozen times to climb out

and gather into his hands

the small toads blinded

by our light and leaping,

live drops of rain.

The rain was falling,

a mist about his white hair

and I kept saying

you can’t save them all,

accept it, get back in

we’ve got places to go.

But, leathery hands full

of wet brown life,

knee deep in the summer

roadside grass,

he just smiled and said

they have places to go, too.