From the remarkable poet Isobel DeGruchy of South Africa. This personal zoo comes
from her 2010 book From Well and from Woe.
Go to the Ant…
The ant is always hurrying from place to place,
I am the ant.
The squirrel gathers food and stores it,
sometimes forgetting the place;
I am the squirrel.
The mouse tries to be invisible,
avoiding the eyes of others;
I am the mouse.
The buck will not fight,
but flees when she takes fright;
I am the buck.
The hyena lives off what others
have exerted themselves to obtain;
I am the hyena.
The cat pretends to be obedient,
while really doing what she wants;
I am the cat.
The hybrid flower will spend hours,
producing something beautiful,
that has lost its usefulness;
I am the flower.
The weaver-bird’s wife is always critical
of what the weaver-bird weaves;
I am the weaver-bird’s wife.
The fiscal shrike prefers to hunt alone,
she does not like others around;
I am the shrike.
The snail takes her time to follow her way,
and quickly withdraws from disturbances;
I am the snail.
The goat will be on the wrong side of the divide,
come Judgement Day;
Am I the goat?