Choosing the monkey / by Risa Denenberg
Were there three blind mice or only two?
Did you catch sight of them? Did it sicken you?
If you had to choose — sight or sound — which would it be?
Why hide so halfheartedly, do you think we can’t see?
Do you want to be seen? Would you like us to lie?
Do you think cats have souls? What about mice?
White rice or brown? Does spinach make you weak?
Is it wrong to eat meat? Can a tear lean upon a cheek?
Do you have an image of God? Does it resemble the old man?
We’re nearing an insight. Hand us the map, please, if you can.
Can you tell which way the wind blows? Place a finger in the air.
Can you purchase compassion? The way a farmer purchases a mare?
Teach us to care, and not to care. Leave us alone. We’d rather read.
Tell us your story, if you dare. Or put us out to seed.
You can always write us out of the story.
It’s probably too late to jump aboard the lorry.
Do you prefer the wire monkey or the cloth monkey?
You get to decide. Choose carefully.