2014 -- 7.1 (Fall) Poetry

Not the World’s Last Gazelle

By: T. A. Parker


We’re all just animals

Deep inside us all lurks a wolf

A salmon swimming upstream

Crows cawing at passers by

We’re loners and livers and critics

Bags of flesh, filled with organs, bones

All moving towards death

Each of us on our own paths

I remember the when I was young

That time at the carnival with my parents

I remember the terror I felt

When the rodeo clowns grabbed my mom

She volunteered to be wrangled as part of the show

Not everyone has the choice to be part of the show

Like that goldfish living in a bowl too small

Or that pervert who hangs around the toy store in the mall

A chronic masturbator with pedophilic habits

He never hurt anybody, but he watched

Recording the face of every child to his memory

Preparing for his solitary night of furious, frustrated masturbation

But it’s not his fault – it’s his illnesses

I remembered how I howled for my mother

To think of that day still stings

At least I got to ride the elephant

Elephants never forget

Worse, they mourn for their dead

We don’t understand why

It’s difficult for us to fathom the viscera of so many other organisms

I can’t understand the clowns anymore than an elephant

We’ve got an understanding though

Just like the toy store owner and the chronic masturbator

A 200 dollar monthly bribe keeps the owner from calling the cops

The cops, like a pack of starved lions

Would pounce on this child watcher as though he were the last gazelle

The only one to mourn the man

The toy store owner

The clowns eventually gave my mom back

But if we truly lose the last gazelle

Unlike the chronic masturbator

There would be no more