Captive Creatures

This is a project about animals in captivity in the first few weeks of a Syracuse winter.
Poetry by CLAIRE STUMBRAS

white swan
mallard hope

The mallard in the pond
Behind an only stone
wall
is the face
of hope
among captives.

Does he know he can fly?

The mallard in the pond
paddles slowly under water
enjoying the spectacle.

superior squirrel

At the zoo
the chain is broken
and squirrel trumps
lion

on a trash can
eating a crumb
found leftover
from another

Beats large
and majestic
and pampered and
trapped.

Outside
snowfalls
fall
reminding
that there is
a periphery

the mandrill king

The mandrill king was euthanized

When he fell they debated
back pain and kidneys
sit up and sit down
hold on and one more day

Now they own their decision
as impossible
wondering about inferences
and one another

His sisters
sit, sad
and wonder about fault
and what to do without their other

Greif is vocalized
when guilt is hidden
and yellow hair highlights
eyes that wish
they knew more
could say more
they miss more

the primate
mallard2

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