The Beep Seal by Don Van Vliet

The beep seal
I saw once as a child
So life like it almost made me cry
It stared with its eye glass
and one glue bubble
Caught on its whiskers
Its mouth was closed
So as not to insult the observer
Its canine teeth were red plastic
N’ its molars were stained green by straw
Excluding it from the carnivoris and
Putting it in the vegetarian bracket
All of this I viewed from the mistake in
The side of the jaw
By pressing my cheek up close
To the glass on the other side
Of the red felt roped off area
This side of the jaw was obviously not intended
For public observation
Or was the ripped stitch flipper
That was carelessly tucked under in a futile
Attempt to hide the careless workmanship
Which only added to the agony I felt
For the display that lived once again
Hurriedly put together….
There was a small crack in the glass that
Emitted the odor of string footballs
And formaldyhyde
And saltwater
The mites balanced on the tiny feather collars
The red tinfoil hummingbird bones–
Siper neglected but one flower on the bush
This odor faded quickly with a feeling of torn
Muscle n’ a burning in my armpit as I was yanked
By a hard hand and told tears streaming down my face
magnifying my tiny shoes into shiny leather monsters
That I was only to view
Life on the other side of the red felt
Roped off
Designated area

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