The Putnam

by: Dustin Joy

Kids run up and down

the plastic tree,

puppets on their hands,

a polyester squirrel, 

a rayon groundhog,

all made in China.

They stare at the bats

in the cave exhibit – Ewwww!

Look at the mummy – Ewwww!

A flathead catfish rolls

in the lazy current

of the big aquarium.

Try to get children to care,

about the amazing evolutionary

achievement of the Compass Plant,

roots twenty feet deep!

Try to get anyone to notice

a plexiglas box in the corner.

The passenger pigeon looks out 

with its oddly thyroid eyes,

its formerly vibrant plumage


Once five billion of us

surged through the skies


a living wind. 

Driven to extinction by greed and 

ignorance and apathy.

The bison nods from across

the room. 

“I feel your pain, Dude.”