A storm was coming, that was why it was dark. The wind was blowing the fronds of the palm trees off. They were maples. I looked out the window across the big lawn. The house was huge, full of children and old people. The lion was loose. Either because of the wind, or by malevolent human energy, which is the same thing, the cage had come open. Suppose a child walked outside!
A child walked outside. I knew that I must protect him from the lion. I threw myself on top of the child. The lion roared over me. In the branches and the bushes there was suddenly a loud crackling. The lion cringed. I looked up and saw that the elephant was loose!
The elephant was taller than the redwoods. He was hairy like a mammoth. His tusks trailed vines. Parrots screeched around his head. His eyes rolled crazily. He trumpeted. The ice-cap was breaking up!
The lion backed off, whining. The boy ran for the house. I covered his retreat, locked all the doors and pulled the bars across them. An old lady tried to open a door to get a better look. I spoke sharply to her, she sat down grumbling and pulled a blanket over her knees.
Out of the window I saw zebras and rattlesnakes and wildebeests and cougars and woodchucks on the lawns and in the tennis courts. I worried how, after the storm, we would put the animals back in their cages, and get to the mainland.
Donald Hall's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Sudden Things by Donald Hall )
- Dr. Lmst., RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- After An Unfortunate Incident, Morgan Michaels
- Only in Vegas, Angela K Brown
- Morning, Angela K Brown
- Shifting Afternoon, Angela K Brown
- Song of Solomon, Angela K Brown
- The watcher is watched, Christopher Withers
- I Will Still Love You, Sandra Feldman
- Born Too Many Times, Oduro Bright Amoh
- Self Examination, Phil Soar
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933)