At the Zoo
The elephant, in his gray coveralls
tosses dust in the air onto his back.
The black rhino, nearby, similarly dressed,
lies in the dirt. Not far off,
the sea lion, in a sleek wet suit,
dives and tumbles in his pool,
not far from the penguins,
those formalists, in their elegant suits.
The tiger and snow leopard lie around
in their fur coats, which fit perfectly
and never need moth treatment
while the giraffes walk on their stilts
chewing decorously, curling their bluish tongues
around the eucalyptus leaves. The peacock,
that ultimate of elegance, preens and displays,
and all of us watch, in our tank tops,
our stripes, polka dots, shorts, rumpled pants,
ungainly, wrinkled, wadded, dripped on
by popsicles - except one boy, bare-topped,
as lithe and agile as a boa.