Treasure Island

Tom Sleigh

(Texas / United States)

The Animals In The Zoo Don't Seem Worried


Looking at the lion behind the plate glass
I wasn't sure what I was looking at: a lion, OK,
but he seemed to come apart, not literally

I mean, but I couldn't see him whole:
Mane. Teeth. The slung belly pumping
as he panted and began to roar. His balls

sheathed in fur swaying a little. His tail's tuft
jerking in an arc like an old-time pump handle
rusted in midair. Somebody or something

I read once said that when Jesus had his vision
of what his father, God, would do to him,
that Jesus could only see pieces of a cross,

pieces of a body appearing through flashes
of sun, as if the body in his vision
was hands looking for feet, a head for a torso,

everything come unmagnetized from the soul:
the lion caught me in his stare not at
or through me but fixated on the great chain

of being that Jesus couldn't see and that
a zebra might gallop in — black and white stripes
marking longitudes of this world turning

to meat, bloody meat — this vision of an inmate
that Jesus's father helped to orchestrate by
making a cageless cage with glass instead

of bars — though the lion didn't seem to care,
he was roaring for his keepers to bring
him food, so everything's what it should be

if you're a lion. Nor did the sea lion
seem concerned about having gone a little
crazy, barking incessantly so I could see

the plush, hot pink insides of its throat,
though like the lion through the glass
there's this distortion, my reflection

I'm looking through that makes me float above
the zoo: and now this silence at closing time
pours like a waterfall in different zones

of silences that, pouring through my head,
surround roaring, barking, human muttering — 
is any of that what being sounds like?

Or is it just animal gasping like what
Jesus must have heard from the thieves
hanging beside him, one damned, one saved?

What was in his heart when his vision
clarified and he saw it was a hand he
recognized that the nail was driving through?

Submitted: Monday, July 14, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 14, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Animals In The Zoo Don't Seem Worried by Tom Sleigh )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Thinking To Better Be, Luis Estable
  2. To Be A Good Man Requires..., Luis Estable
  3. Between the lines, Dr PJ Raj Kamal
  4. Common Crow, Prasad Natarajan
  5. Silver Twine, Prasad Natarajan
  6. Concrete Fill, Prasad Natarajan
  7. Sonnet # 512, Luis Estable
  8. In born, hasmukh amathalal
  9. Sonnet # 511, Luis Estable
  10. Point for struggle, hasmukh amathalal

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Ernest G Moll

 

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]