May 24, 2009

Joanne Lowery

ESCAPEES FROM THE ZOO

How did they climb over the natural barricades
of woven branches, thorned with rebuke?
The emu’s legs were not long enough.
Not even the giraffe could step over and out.
He was yellow and brown, like most of us,
though recently a white one was caught on film.
Is it good to be rare? Is that what makes
men in jeeps follow you with tranquilizers
and stun guns? How stunned you were,
the small you who wiggled under a fence
to find yourself free of regular feedings
and the generous hose, the crowds gathering
in admiration, the little metal sign
with two Latin words you left behind
for the chance to be nameless.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007

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