Peer Review by Helen Grant (United Kingdom)

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Zoo Trip

By: Christine Betts


Welcome to the Wild World of Kenya,

the sign read. One of the jocks 

hit it as our group passed, as though

he played for Notre Dame.


We all wandered, admiring

the different "wild" animals

from behind reinforced glass

and chain-link fences.


It's not every day you see a Giraffe

under the harsh Missouri sun,

you know.


I pondered, looking

at the gorilla on the other side of the glass.

In his dark fur was my reflection.


For one's existence to be based

solely on the perceptions of others.

Peer Review

I particularly loved it when you talked about the jock who "played for Notre Dame." It was so effortlessly witty and ironic, the dichotomy between a holy building and thoughtless disrespect for animals. Genius!

The broken lines really help highlight different words that you wouldn't ordinarily focus on, and it also gave the poem a lovely sharp-but-thoughtful tone.

Reviewer Comments

This is so totally different from anything that I would immediately think of when given the prompt 'Wild,' and really refreshing and original. You're obviously a very talented poet and quite frankly I'm just a little bit awe-struck. I can't wait to read what you write next! :)