But Which One?
Yes, I know I’m an animal.
I monkey ‘round with bouquets
Of orange-brown tiger lilies
Amid cat tails on the sides.
I fight with dandelions,
Hear drivers call me an "ass,"
Am often sent to the dog house,
And hear men call me a "fox."
My sister says I’m aping her,
My father calls me his “burro,”
Is it possible to be all of these?
At work it's even worse.
Journey with me through my day
And watch me pace my cage.
My office has real window bars;
The doors wear silver locks.
The zoo-guard strides around about;
And drops hands down on my flanks.
Lacking the others’ rhino hides,
I hang my tail between my legs.
I am a skittish, frightened deer,
So I never kick or try to bite,
Yet, like a horse, my ears flatten back
Each time the office gossips pass.
I am a timid mouse at work,
And the hoots of all the other wildlife
Often send me into shy retreat,
Behind my private cubicle.
Our head beast prowls the office lanes,
He snarls and roars demands.
I cower from his fearsome rage
And gingerly assuage his needs.
It is dangerous to handfeed beasts,
So, I tremble as I pass my data,
Hoping he doesn't use my back
For the raking of his claws.
And so, another day goes by,
And the artificial sun winks out.
Like a cat, I stretch and purr,
Collecting up my thoughts.
It is strange the way the hyenas
Laugh at my submissive ways.
They call me the office ostrich,
Who hides behind her wings.
But I don't believe that's true of me,
For in danger, I wouldn't run.
I think I'm more a gopher
Who quietly, hides in holes.
Featured in the Poetry Newsletter, September 10, 2003