The Plague and a Zoo

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A Visit to Como Zoo and Japanese Garden  

Three silverback gorillas 
knuckling in the sun,   
two feather-duster ostriches, 
too hot to run, 
picking grass along a fence, 
while giraffes with shambling elegance  
perform a kind of mating dance.     

Bears and monkeys! Maybe cranes,   
though not in view. (The sign remains.)  
A deep, green garden,   
a silent pond,  
shining koi,  
and so we end.

I went to Como Zoo with a friend yesterday. I did not write this poem after that visit, but visits to the zoo are all pretty similar. It was pleasant.

The best part is probably the Conservatory, which is a classic 19th century conservatory, full of palm trees and orchids. We skipped the Japanese Garden, due to fatigue and heat.

I don’t know how the rest of you feel. I am unsettled now that Patrick and I have been vaccinated and can (in theory) go out and about. I have now been out with friends three times, all of us vaccinated and taking precautions when around others: masks and distancing and much washing of hands. Each time I go out, I feel like a hermit crab that is being forcibly removed from its shell. Yes, it’s worth it, but boy it is hard. (A hermit crab would probably not feel anything was worth getting pulled out of its shell.)

It’s possible we will get back to normal. What is normal? And in which countries? And when will the next pandemic arrive? One problem with writing SF is, one has a pretty dark imagination. In SF only the idiots say, “This isn’t a problem. We will get back to normal.”