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.

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