Like the Beatles arriving from Britain, the egret's descent on the pond takes the reeds and visitors by storm: it is a reconstructed marsh environment, the next best thing to living out your wild life. * Footbridges love the past. And like the Roman questioner who learned "the whole of the Torah while standing on one leg," flamingos are pleased to ignore us. It is not known whether that Roman could learn to eat upside-down, by dragging his tremendous head through streams. * Comical, stately, the newly-watched tortoises mate; one pushes the other over the grass, their hemispheres clicking, on seven legs in toto. Together they make a Sydney opera house, a concatenation of anapests, almost a waltz. * Confined if not preserved, schoolteachers, their charges, vigilant lemurs, wrens and prestidigitating tamarins, and dangerous badgers like dignitaries stare at one another, hot and concave in their inappropriate coats. Having watched a boa eat a rat alive, the shortest child does as she was told? looks up, holds the right hand of the buddy system, and stands, as she explains it, "still as a piece of pie."
Things you know but can’t say,
the sort of things, or propositions
that build up week after week at the end of the day,
& have to be dredged
by the practical operators so that their grosser cargo
& barges & boxy schedules can stay.
The great shovels and beaks and the rolling gantries
of Long Beach, and of Elizabeth, New Jersey,
can keep their high and rigorous distinction
between on-time and late, between work and play.
“Since you excluded me, I will represent you,
not meanly but generously, with an attention
that is itself
a revenge, since it shows that I know you
better than you have ever known yourselves,
that if I could never have learned
how to be you, nor how to be
somebody you’d like to be very near, nevertheless
you could not do without me, or keep me away.”