I Went to the Zoo
by Helen Tumlin

With poets and laureates and my dad, the librarian.
Watching the flamencos in their pink satin, catching up fish on the heals of their feet.
Found out that day why the caged bird doesn't sing and why the lonely white tiger never comes out to play.

I went to the Zoo

and the Panda had a baby... what a feat!
captivation for culture, so I'll never have to go to China to know that they're true.
To keep me homebound
To keep me safe?
To experience nothing but what is fed to me.

I went to the Zoo

and the tigers striped back reflects the bars on their cage
and the orange the artificial sun.
Being duped into thinking that polar bears pace.
out of boredom I think, not instinct.

I went to the Zoo

and had a lovely time, as my poets whispered sonnets they had written just for me
about far off places that I would never be


I went to the Zoo.

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