Wandering Alone 


I wander through the zoo

alone, surrounded by animals.

Over the heads of a family,

beside a pram,

I hear, “Don’t go wandering off!”

I watch tiger cubs clamour

for mum’s attention,

then stroll to the bears,

just in time to catch

a furry bottom disappear

into a cave.

“Come back!”

A child calls,

echoing my thoughts.

His father has other concerns.

“Someone might take you.

Hold my hand!”

I walk past a soon-to-be-released exhibit,

now just a construction site,

next to a grassy area of lunch eaters.

Ahead, a woman power walks

with a cheetah’s stride.

A wobbly-voiced boy

attempts to follow.

She turns back.

“Find somewhere warm to

sleep tonight.”

The boy overtakes her and now

Mother must catch him before

he wanders alone,

amongst the crowd.