My Zebra Son

  1. My zebra son is still wobbly and warm
  2. when the photogs arrive, turtle-mouthed,
  3. their pockets bulging with lenses.
  4. It’s cheap to write stories about us
  5. because we reproduce so well
  6. in black & white, but the stacks
  7. of newspapers barking Zebra Born
  8. with Horizontal Stripes! and Abracadabra,
  9. A New Kind of Zebra! are just a new pack
  10. of wild dogs. The humans stare too intently
  11. (What do they mean when they whisper
  12. zebra tic tac toe, zebra gingham?), and you don’t look
  13. at all—zig-zagging by, ears angry. No one
  14. grooms him but me. When the real hyenas come,
  15. I don’t think you’ll do the Congeal & Conceal
  16. the way we usually do for our young.
  17. I’m sorry now that I let the albino go solo
  18. to her grave as if I didn’t see the ledge.
  19. Come closer. Give him a sniff. We’re all
  20. dominoes, dummies. Today it’s him.
  21. Tomorrow it’s you, then you, then you.