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Clare Considers

Clare considers the sane and insane patterns of the mind.

What carved them there she will never know.

All she can do is look at hippopotamuses now,

while the brochure in her hand rustles in the wind.

We love to talk about Jesus and forgiveness at the zoo

among antelope, snakes, and bears that should not be there.

Though feelings coil confusedly, the parrots are clear,

perhaps bright denizens of where we ourselves should go.

Water-dwelling animals control their slippery humps

as Clare and I suck on cones of crushed and flavored ice.

I think about the fact that we are the same in many ways,

yet different in profounder ones. I walk with a limp,

she without. I drive a van, Clare a white Accord.

In both our pockets jingle pennies pressed with our names,

our shoes are hot against the asphalt. We are the same,

yet different. I own a house she could never afford.

She is still in high-school yet seems, in some ways, old.

She comments on the wonderful texture of elephant ears.

We both struggle against darkness, but against different fears.

We are a grizzly and a cub, a glue-horse and a foal.