Wishes at the Zoo


I wish I was an otter pup
out swimming in my pool,
and playing chasey with my friends.
now wouldn’t that be cool?
But listen to the noise I’d make.
‘Squeak!’ like a baby’s toy.
And all those fish I’d eat just stink!
It’s not what I’d enjoy.

I think I’ll be a pelican
who’s snapping with my bill,
and catching things the keeper throws  
with super duper skill.
But what I’d catch are stinky fish!
Oh no! It’s so unfair.
I’d have to swallow them all whole!
It’s more than I could bear.

Perhaps I’ll be a lion cub
who’s roaring on my mound,
and playing rough and tumble with
my sisters on the ground.
I wouldn’t have to eat raw fish,
but – yuck! – it’s uncooked meat!
Why do my best-loved animals
have horrid food to eat?

I guess I’ll stick with who I am:
a girl who’s at the zoo.
And when I eat my lunch I know
that it won’t make me spew.

© Kristin Martin 2013

A version of this poem is published in the book Tadpoles in the Torrens, edited by Jude Aquilina (Wakefield Press, 2013).