menagerie (2057) by Sheri Doyle

Poem name: menagerie 2057 Poet name: Sheri Doyle Poem:  ice, water, LED lighting 40 x 40 x 12 feet  the artist has captured   the chilled glance of the elephant, the seahorse  the bewildered kangaroo  as if ice is net, a sedating dart she has caged the gaze of surrender  in the daydream eye of lion   the curve of submission  in grizzly bear slump, gorilla resolve  bent over transparent food bowl for us to remember, even these frozen beasts  a spectacle for our eyes  collected from every climate on earth the animals are together here, but separated into exhibits of varying habitats said to simulate their native lands even the polar bear stares back  glassy-eyed, displaced in this architecture of ice  the chimpanzee hangs from a frosted pole the shark is an outline in an ice block suggesting water the peacock in full fan is a lacework so thin it melts sometimes shatters from the pierce  of our screeches and wild apery prompting the artist to rework the plumage— the reason she calls this installation  a work-in-perpetual-progress  those of us who can remember  tell the children, pointing and asking about their colours or the sounds they made, how they once ran or flew free  over sand, tundra, savannas sunlight glinting on wrinkled skin, fur, feathers on fins in oceans, swirling in circles so wide they crack our imaginations   End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Sheri Doyle Previously published in The Antigonish Review, 2019. Sheri Doyle (she/her) is a poet, writer, and editor currently living on land that belongs to the Six Nations of the Grand River. Her poems have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, most recently in Rhapsody 2021/2022, untethered magazine, and The Antigonish Review. Her poem “Snow Music” was set to a musical composition written by David Hamilton and performed by the Georgia College Choir with choir director Dr. Jennifer Flory. Her debut poetry chapbook A Dress Made From Light is published by Vocamus Press and launching in the fall of 2022. Sheri can be reached at