My two children are laughing in the back seat
and I’m behind the wheel of this small enclosure
driving 70 miles an hour about to cry
because the orangutans were supposed to be
the highlight of this summer day—
this guilty pleasure of visiting the zoo.

Last summer, we peeked through the fence
and marveled at the new construction
which promised to be a state of the art exhibit
for the special creatures who were displayed
already on a temporary bulletin board
with photos and names and personality traits.

But the grand façade, it seemed, was a grand façade.
The large enclosure was industrial and colorless
without a single tree or boulder or cushion of earth.
And the transparent walls of windows allowed us
to put our hands together, to lock eyes,
to imagine what it would be like on the other side.

DeMaris Gaunt

3 thoughts on “Cages”

  1. Have you read the history of these orangutans? Have you seen the zoo personnel working with them to keep them stimulated? I have seen both and believe me they are cared for better than they were prior to living at the Indianapolis zoo.


    1. I’m glad to hear they are experiencing an upgrade in their care. With that said, I am still saddened that our cousins are living in an environment that, by all appearances, in no way simulates their natural environment.

      Liked by 1 person

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