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Today, an original poem in free verse. Like The Scar, it's the result of a writing exercise that I did in a weekly challenge with angeladegroot. The instructions (which I do not have with me, but are somewhere inside Bonnie Neubauer's book, The Write-Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing) said to writ about a maid who visits the giraffe pen every Thursday at noon and shares her lunch. It had to be from the giraffe's point of view, and we had to begin with "She brought me . . . "

The Giraffe Pen on Thursday, at noon
by Kelly R. Fineman

She brought me alfalfa,
a carrot,
an apple.
Standing there
in her gray dress,
its white collar reflecting upwards,
illuminating her soft second chin,
her arm stretched forward,
her hand bearing offerings
of food, of comfort,
of comradeship.
"We live in cages," she says.
"Not enough room,
no open horizons,
Just people, wanting
something from us."
I curl my black tongue
around the apple,
see her wipe her hand on her skirt,
walk away.

As I finalized the code for this post, I went to Tricia's blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect to get the URL for today's post, since she's hosting, and I see that she has a giraffe-related poem posted as well. Great minds . . .

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
I like that. And its vivid images. And the questions it raises for the reader about the lady. A further story, waiting to be told.
Aug. 9th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Thanks, Jules.
Aug. 7th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Now there's a smart giraffe. Love this!
Aug. 9th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
Aug. 7th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Giraffes on My Mind
Love your poem. Offering comfort and comradeship.

BTW, I'm awarding you with the Superior Srribbler Award. Thanks for your many thorough analysis of poems and sonnets and lesser known Austen novels.

Aug. 9th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
Re: Giraffes on My Mind
Thanks again for the award, Yat Yee. And for the kind words about my poem.
Aug. 7th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
I love this. Reading it, I felt like I was watching an artist sketch a face. Every line matters, and nothing is wasted.

Aug. 9th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
Ooh - what a kind thing to say! Thank you, Janet!
Aug. 7th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Aug. 9th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Thanks, Barb!
Aug. 8th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
You and your back tongue
Yay, KRF!
Aug. 9th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: You and your black tongue
Thanks, Kevin!
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
Oh my god.
I love this poem.
We fed giraffes this summer at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. I'm going to send you a photo...
Aug. 9th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
Thanks, Liz. I'll be looking for that photo. I did research to figure out what one could actually feed a giraffe at a zoo, assuming it was allowed at all - hence the choices offered by the little gray lady.
Aug. 14th, 2009 08:50 am (UTC)
Tanita Says :)
I absolutely adore this poem. I think I have *lived* this poem. I have always loved the giraffes have black tongues, and I love feeding them apples.

It's a dichotomy; I always wonder if they would stay and let me feed them if we took the fence away...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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