Poems of the Week

Official Warning

by Julia Griffin

“Man busted in Spain for taking goldfish for a walk during lockdown”
The New York Post

When énervé Nerval took out his lobster,
And Dali daily walked his ocelot,
Was either one arrested like a mobster
Or busted for it? Obviously not.

The moose of Tycho Brahe got to travel
Without arousing panic-stricken squeals,
And surely (watching out for scratchy gravel),
Licinius Muraena aired his eels.

My, how the world has altered! My idea
Was just to let my goldfish stretch his fins,
When suddenly here come the policía,
In plastic suits and masks from cheeks to chins.

A hefty fine and lengthy lecture later,
I’m locked back down, with fish and Google. Wait—
John Quincy Adams had an alligator:
A choice I’m starting to appreciate.