by Marian Glaser © October 1996
When Noah decided his ark should be part zoo
he soon had so many problems he hardly knew what to do.
It’s true he made elephants march in two by two
but the bible forgot to mention the space taken up by their food
or the extra thickness under their feet so they could stomp safely when in a bad mood.
The tigers, lions and house cats sharpened their claws on the hull.
The hyenas laughed loudest during a lull.
Monkeys escaped from their cages, sat on the rails,
and threw their banana peels at porpoises and whales.
Zebras grew bored with lying down
and began to race madly around.
They became a black and white blur.
Their hooves wore a groove in that gopher wood. Noah said, “Gr!”
The mules wouldn’t budge unless asked to stay still. They had never given a damn.
Noah had to enter the sheep cage to untangle the horn of a ram.
Each cage had to be cleaned every day.
Cursing was useless. Shoveling all that shit was the only way.
When that dove brought a green branch indicating land was near
Noah first gave quiet thanks, then smiled with relief, then began to cheer.