Playing God in Pine Bush

She's got pictures from a path
I remember from my childhood.
There are placards notating flora
and a statue of Walt Whitman.
I remember the font and the bronzed stride.
"That's the Bear Mountain Zoo,"
I inform her, as if she doesn't know.

"Most of the animals there
were rescued after being wounded
in the wild or maimed by poachers.
A friend of mine brought an owl.
His dog found it in the woods
wandering the ground
disoriented. He wrapped it in a towel
and brought it to a vet
who discovered it was blind.
Now it lives in that zoo.
Did you see it?
How's it doing?"

She's forgotten if she saw it
or perhaps I've stopped listening.
Another thought has taken hold;
a notion which had to come out

Maybe that owl was meant to die
in that forest.

Some lessons you only learn
through repeating to another.

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