Sunday, February 09, 2020

1042. At The Zoo - Linda Pastan

at the Children’s Zoo

The children holding the python
all along its ten-foot mottled body
are like the blind men with the elephant—
what can they know
of what they hold beneath their fingers,
these not quite babies
still in the Eden of preschool,
sloughing off their winter jackets now
in the steamy weather
of the reptile house

And this creature they dare
to carry, this undulating river
of muscle, supple and curving and
thick as the arm of its keeper,
what does it know of sin
or apples, wanting only to follow the flick
of its two-pronged tongue
(like those blind men following
their tapping canes) to any place

its hunger takes it.