2009 If I Ran the Zoo #4

Ashley Thorne

If I could run the college zoo,

I’d hop up like a kangaroo—

If I could let new critters in,

I wonder, how would I begin?


First thing, I’d open up the gates

‘Til nothing’s left that separates

Black, polar, grizzly, teddy, panda

Bears from one another and


I’d count them all the same at heart.

For keeping different folks apart

Is something that my zoo won’t do—

So race-based grouping: “Toot-a-loo!”


Another change I’d bring this scene:

We wouldn’t have to be so green.

The green-eyed tree frogs won’t blend in,

Sustainabullies lose their spin


When climate education ends

And open inquiry begins.

That global boiling’s near at hand

Is not a doctrine I’d command.


But if I ran the college zoo,

There’s something simple I’d ask you:

“Why do we go to college zoo?

What is it that we wish we knew?”


That purpose—if I may define:

Pursue the truth, don’t toe the line.
Don’t make up meaning, gender, fact

But find what’s real, what’s right, exact.


Well anyhoo, in any case

My college zoo will be the place

Where beavers build and parrots talk

And we’d all rock around the clock.

  • Share

Most Commented

May 7, 2024


Creating Students, Not Activists

The mobs desecrating the American flag, smashing windows, chanting genocidal slogans—this always was the end game of the advocates of the right to protest, action civics, student activ......

March 9, 2024


A Portrait of Claireve Grandjouan

Claireve Grandjouan, when I knew her, was Head of the Classics Department at Hunter College, and that year gave a three-hour Friday evening class in Egyptian archaeology....

April 20, 2024


The Academic's Roadmap

By all means, pursue your noble dream of improving the condition of humanity through your research and teaching. Could I do it all again, I would, but I would do things very differently....

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 5, 2024


Subpoenas for All!

Ohio Northern University gnaws its teeth with an appetite for vindictive lawfare....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...