In second grade I had a bird
A parakeet
He was blue for the most part
Black dots and pearly streaks interrupted his cerulean canvas
The good kind of interruption
Interruption that broke up simplicity
And made you think
Interruption that added something special
He was art
Not the center masterpiece
The kind of art that many didn’t notice
Unless they’d really searched
For something different
Not too blatantly obvious
But subtly offbeat
His difference helped me appreciate and accept my own
And he still stands out to me today
When I see him soaring through the sky
But his vibrant azure doesn’t add to the sky
He makes it a grim gray
Because the brightness is no longer truly tangible
So the sky cries
And the droplets end up on my cheeks, too

—By Amanda G., 16, New York