In the wildlife rescue video shared ten million times:
the fawn paces at the bottom of a dry well,
the ducklings peep in a sewer,
the fox hangs by its tail from the gate,
the hedgehog’s stuck in a soup can,
the horse gets swept up near the dam,
the cow falls in the canal,
the turtle is wrapped in fishing wire,
the gull is garroted by a six-pack ring,
the dragonfly flaps against the windshield,
the owl hits a window and is frankly stunned.
We never intend to harm them,
but what should they say to that?
The children honk and scream,
the mothers stand by.
We are gap-toothed death traps,
our homes are coffin burrows.
We come, contrite, with bandages,
leashes, cages, solutions and good wishes,
to play whack-a-mole in reverse
and pop them out, again, into that terrible freedom.
Tucker Lieberman’s poems are in Dream Noir, Esthetic Apostle, Prometheus Dreaming, Rockvale Review, and the Trigger Warning anthology from The Sad Bitch Chronicles. His ghost story “Exit Interview” is in Mad Scientist’s I Didn’t Break the Lamp, an anthology about imaginary friends. He lives in Bogotá, Colombia with his husband, the science fiction writer Arturo Serrano. www.tuckerlieberman.com Twitter: @tuckerlieberman