Issue 95 - Kevin Pilkington

by Kevin Pilkington

I walk past trees where leaves
are turning white, and will look
like Einstein's hair for the next two
weeks before falling off. Across the street
in front of the hospital animal activists
picket holding up signs like large
lollipops protesting the killing of lab animals.

I get it, I really do. Nothing should
be killed, not even rodents. It's just
that when I see dark country roads
too dangerous to travel on at night--
they have no business being on the faces
of children leaning over in wheelchairs,
their parents are pushing them looking
tired, shoulders sloping over like
question marks at the end of sentences.

If I were in the lab searching for a cure
so these kids could jump up and run
towards a world that begins with fun
and ends with ice cream, instead
of being wheeled back to their hospital rooms,
I'd kill every lab mouse and rat I could
get my hands on. And if you are one
of those who doesn't get it, this is what
I mean. I love dogs.

I'd pick up that cute puppy resting on the sidewalk
like a cashew, the same puppy that slows everyone
who walks by and smiles sown at him, and if
there was something in his blood that would
save even one child, I would gut him from throat
to belly to tail to find it.