Big cats patrol the aisles.
At the checkouts, baboons preen and groom
while parrots chatter through the speakers.
Sloth and sun-bear
peccary and panda
lie snoring on the shelves.
Wolves in the warehouse.
In the freezers, walrus and penguin
cherish the ice and cold.
The manager’s a mongoose
and was that a rhino
pushing trolleys to the trolley park?
At the zoo, there’s trouble.
Visitors want chimpanzees, not cereals
and who put tinned fruit in the tigers’ cage?
Corn chips in place of cheetahs
lightbulbs for lizards
elephants replaced by Edam cheese.
Only the zebras remain.
Their stripes are barcodes
scanned by the winter sun.
Credit note: This poem was published in Poetry Pudding, an anthology of poetry for children edited by Jenny Argante.
Tim says: I have rarely tried to write poetry for children, other than the occasional reassuring ditty for my son when he was young (sample: “There’s No Volcanoes Here”). This is the only published exception, and I’m still quite fond of it.
You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the hub poem in the middle of the page, and all the other poems in the sidebar on the right.