Student Spotlight: Trying to Replace a Giraffe with a Lion

Image Credit: Laoise Tarrant

Trying to Replace a Giraffe with a Lion

Did you hear I went to the zoo with him?

A last minute decision. He asked me 

what I wanted to do and I didn’t think

he would listen, but he did. 

I kinda wish he said no.

It was overcast, bitter November air, nothing like 

the day you took me that March. 

The flowers beginning to bloom, crisp but warm 

from the harsh glare of the sun. 

I remember I made you carry my winter jacket. 

I had to wear it this time.

He didn’t pay for my ticket, and he didn’t hold my hand. 

He didn’t take pictures for me 

of the penguins at feeding time and he didn’t 

let me stand at each exhibit for long.

I don’t think he cared.

He even lit a cigarette in there,

something you had promised

not to do until we were far from the zoo.

He told me he wouldn’t buy me 

anything from the giftshop, even though

I hadn’t asked. It made me think of the 

stuffed giraffe you had bought me. So bashful

when I asked you why you were carrying it around.

You told me, “it’s for you.” But now it’s shoved in a box, 

buried deep in my bedroom closet along 

with other things from you.

I wish I never attempted to replace that day with you.