A zoo on country road outside of town.
A chance to see the legendary sloth
alone in cage with water and a moth.
A peacock struts around like circus clown.
Behind the petting zoo back fence, camels,
a couple hyena without a sound.
To pace in circles, A to B, on ground,
as panther grins over these animals.
By turtle pond the monkeys play on bars.
Around the corner lie the sleeping cats
or glance upon a lazy bear at play.
The tigers tend to hide all day, the stars
who lie under some planks of wooden flats
or billboards seen throughout regular day.
The prize was petting gazelle while they feed.
My youngest gifts the deer from youthful palm
and other antelope stand without qualm
to wait for nuts and varied types of seed.
My children laugh to feel the rugged tongue,
each lick seems coarser then the one before.
We feed the peaceful critters more and more,
a song of coexistence being sung.
I understand the needs of these creatures
much more than others of my own species
whose motivations I cannot predict.
A manmade retelling of natures cures,
an answer here or certainly some keys
to open locks that we have not yet picked.
We load the car with pictures still in mind
of painted birds and those in petting zoo,
orangutang, and zebras were there too,
a caged life that’s altered and refined.
A vain attempt to create a new home,
to give each animal a taste of wild
and create illusions in every child
of places they may never chance to roam.
We find ways back to our own caged room
to feed the dogs and cats their daily food
and pet behind their ears behind the couch.
Our cats will find the time to lounge and groom
and though the wild version may seem quite crude
they both seem held by tightened human clutch.