Ballad of Mexico City

By Sharon Stephens

Poems from ordinary mornings
just don't happen
outside the zoo in Mexico City
where we imagine ourselves
beyond the urban grid

From the vista in Chapultapec Park
I see the lions and the birds
at peace
separated by wire mesh and concrete

We even have the whale
freed in a Hollywood movie
and imprisoned in the world's largest city

Instead, we wait in line
ever so patiently to redeem our checks
to pay the travel agent
to take our children to the Russian circus
in town this week only -
the metro placards boast -
all the while suffocating
in the Valley of Mexico

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