Salt of the Earth

by Marilyn Singer

A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn SingerThis harsh and salty land—
(it’s not a place to mock)
Flamingos find it grand.

No palm trees or pink sand,
It’s where they come to flock—
This harsh and salty land.

In saline lakes they stand,
No grassy lawn, no dock.
Flamingos find it grand

To feast at their command.
Here, brine shrimp are in stock.
This harsh and salty land

Demands a life well-planned
By each bird’s daily clock.
Flamingos find it grand.

Here’s to this hardy band!
It may come as a shock:
This harsh and salty land—
Flamingos find it grand.

Copyright © 2012 Marilyn Singer. From the book A Strange Place to Call Home. Chronicle Books. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About this Poem

Children's Poet Marilyn Singer

Photo by Laurie Gaboardi/The Litchfield County Times

I love animals–and I love writing about them, especially in poems.   I also like to try out different poetry forms.  Here’s a particularly tricky form–the villanelle–about those fascinating birds, flamingos.  It’s from  A Strange Place to Call Home (Chronicle, 2012), a collection of poems about animals that live in difficult habitats, illustrated by Ed Young.

About The Author

Marilyn Singer is the author of over one hundred books for children and young adults in many genres, but she especially loves to write poetry.  Her works include A Stick Is an Excellent Thing, The Superheroes Employment Agency, the award-winning Mirror Mirror, and its companion, Follow Follow, and the forthcoming Rutherford B., Who Was He?  She lives in Brooklyn New York and Washington, Connecticut with her husband and several pets.

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