As Harambe dwarfed the young child,
power unchallenged and unmatched
imprisoned in an enclosure.
One that only provides a shadow of the lush,
ripe and fertile environment of the wild.
Sucking in my breath as massive hands gripped innocence
grasping a new life by the limb and exposing society’s cognitive dissonance.
I watched with the full understanding that each subsequent breath,
each heartbeat was a miracle and could have very well been that child’s last.
Nevermind the speed of many young boys.
I know firsthand their agility.
I’ve seen my very own son’s
One which started not only before he could even walk,
but also before he was even one.
I have also carried the burden of blame
for other people’s professional mistake.
The mother is always the first to receive ridicule.
Criticized if we stay at home, criticized if we work.
Criticized due to
the failed infrastructure of a zoo.
Yet the mother, hoping to set an example for her child,
oftentimes repays the criticism with grace.
This is a poem about a mother’s struggle, and if I had more time
or thought you even cared,
I would explain to you it’s not just parenting, animal rights,
but it is also a poem about race.
You wouldn’t understand nor would you receive it anyway.
So I’ll just continue to watch.
Gregg and Dickerson have since released a statement on their son’s current state, sharing: “Our child has had a checkup by his doctor and is doing well…If anyone wishes to make a gift, we recommend a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo in Harambe’s name.”
In response to the one word prompt: childhood.