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At the Zoo

The elephant, in his gray coveralls

tosses dust in the air onto his back.

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The black rhino, nearby, similarly dressed,

lies in the dirt. Not far off,

the sea lion, in a sleek wet suit,

dives and tumbles in his pool,

not far from the penguins,

those formalists, in their elegant suits.

The tiger and snow leopard lie around

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in their fur coats, which fit perfectly

and never need moth treatment

while the giraffes walk on their stilts

chewing decorously, curling their bluish tongues

around the eucalyptus leaves. The peacock,

that ultimate of elegance, preens and displays,

and all of us watch, in our tank tops,

our stripes, polka dots, shorts, rumpled pants,

ungainly, wrinkled, wadded, dripped on

by popsicles - except one boy, bare-topped,

as lithe and agile as a boa.