The gibbons, swinging through their cage,
bark and thrum, but the children
outbark them. As the silverback
gorilla leans his great head
on black knuckles, grave and silent,
several prancing children gibber and shrill
in front of him. A girl outcalls
the peacock, who falls silent.
In the reptile house, the children
make all the noise. Only the lion,
in a mood to roar, shames them all,
his deep, resounding chuffs echoing
out beyond the elephants,
who pay no attention, swinging
their trunks - but the children do,
pausing, for once, to listen.