The boy who had no bones
squished along a dusty road.
His flabby piles of skin did flap
in the chilly wind that blowed.
He chanced upon an oddball stranger,
who was tall with arms that dangled,
moving awkwardly along the trail,
stiff limbs all weirdly angled.
Boneless waived a jelly arm,
said, "Hey, are you okay?
There's something hard inside your head.
I've never seen that shape."
The stranger looked at him, astounded.
Thought, "How can he live with no bones?"
"How can he eat?
How can he breathe?
How does he use a phone?"
Now Boneless to the too-tall kid,
who was looking quite distressed,
"It must be rather hard to breathe
with those stick things in your chest.
How do you make those rigid legs
Sit upon a chair?
I feel for you my stiffie friend,
Your lot seems so unfair."
Then laughing at his bony friend
With the silly way that body bends,
"Now I see not all can be
as flat and handsome as me."
Copyright B.C. Byron 2021
This poem is really about perspective. If everyone had no bones, then the person with hard sticks inside their body would look pretty strange and ugly and the most jelly-like, squishy people would be considered the ideal. Just because we’re used to something doesn’t mean that everything should be like that. I remember an old episode of The Twilight Zone (ask your parents or grandparents about this TV show) where a person wakes up from surgery and all the doctors and nurses have pig faces. The pig people are horrified at the hideous human face in front of them. They can’t believe this terrible thing that happened to their patient. In another universe, boneless boy would be shocked at the bizarre “stiffies” that we are. When you see someone that doesn’t fit the norm, try to put yourself in that person’s shoes and see things from their angle. Maybe they have perspective that you really need. Maybe they have strengths and abilities that would make you look like the odd one out, if only the right situation comes up to apply those abilities.
Also, consider the advantages of having no bones. You could slip under locked doors, float through the air when falling from great heights, and sleep in a box comfortably and save all the space a bed takes up in your room. In a car crash you would probably only suffer a few bruises at worst. Putting clothes on would probably be an issue, however. Come to think of it, I really don’t know how a boneless person could work at all. How would they hold things and eat and breathe… and a million other things? But hey, it’s just a poem. It doesn’t have to be scientifically sound. The point is that the world needs all sorts of people to work as well as it does. Don’t try to ignore people’s differences, embrace those differences and make the most of the great variety that life and people have to offer.