Recalling a Day at the Zoo for What It Was

Patrick Faller
Feb 6 · 1 min read

If I had taken a picture,
I would’ve aimed at the high-rise
kneeling over the trees inside
the zoo’s western boundary — to give
a sense of scale and reserve part
of the almost-awe you expressed
as we exited the highway
and you said, “How weird there’s a zoo
in the middle of all this — ”

(There I go editing your words
again. I listened, but vaguely,
watching two kids lean off the porch
of a townhouse near the entrance,
wondering what could be said
of their status, security.)

When we walked as the zoo’s path went,
found at its end the train, did it
hit you, too — recalling when last
we’d been there we’d held hands leaving?

What’s brightest is Fin ignoring
the bears. I must’ve finger-poked
the greasy window and gone “Look!”
and “See the bears?” a thousand times.
Why hadn’t it occurred to me
how foolish it was, using words
to turn an infant’s head when there
before him stood another boy
wearing a lion’s mane ball cap,
scratching at the glass and roaring?

Patrick Faller

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When teaching, I aim to help students use writing to connect with their passions. When writing, I try to guide readers toward what they might have missed.