7 April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I Said to Him-
Something about that Chimpanzee over there
reminds me of you.
Carol Ann Duffy
for backing over
your red wheelbarrow.
It was raining
and the rear wiper
does not work on
my new plum-colored SUV.
I am also sorry
about the white
My philosopher friend is explaining again
that the bottle of well-chilled beer in my hand
might not be a bottle of beer,
that the trickle of bottle-sweat cooling in my palm
might not be wet, might not be cool,
that in fact it’s impossible ever to know
if I’m holding a bottle at all.
I try to follow his logic, flipping the steaks
that are almost certainly hissing
over the bed of coals – coals I’d swear
were black at first, then gray, then red –
coals we could spread out and walk on
and why not, I ask, since we’ll never be sure
if our feet burn, if our soles
blister and peel, if our faithlessness
is any better or worse a tool
than the firewalker’s can-do extreme.
Exactly, he smiles. Behind the fence
the moon rises, or seems to.
Have another. Whatever else is true,
the coals feel hotter than ever
as the darkness begins to do
what darkness does. Another what? I ask.
All of these are from the volume 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday Life selected by Billy Collins for his project of having a poem a day read with the morning announcements in schools. While some of those included I don't think would pass many a board of ed. scrutiny due to their overt sexuality and ribaldness that would cause some parents to revolt there are some excellent and amusing ones. The online archive of poems is available at link below. Many of the poems in second book are not included on the website although some are.