Elephants Throw Gravel While Dusting Themselves by Thomas Martin Sobottke

the wild things are on the loose
so that elephants throw gravel while dusting themselves
in self-defense
at the zoo on a coffee-stained Saturday
in late winter
while a latent breakfast donut
settles in the lower reaches

your kid’s hand like a steel clamp
she asks why
the Orangutans have all left town
as raucous bands of homo-sapiens
make me wonder
where their handlers are

my soon to be retired nikes
in an oozing snow cone
the season that swallows front axles
and claims unsuspecting ice fishermen

would they stand a chance
the polar bears eyeing the seals in the adjoining pens
nostrils flared
like aircraft carriers
snouts turned into the wind
wild things on the loose

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