At the Zoo
By Maggie Smith
Everything that happened today
has happened before, only to others
and in different combinations.
This morning we drove to the zoo.
In the car my daughter asked what it was like
when men walked on the moon.
I said they took small steps.
They were so light, they bounced.
At the zoo she pressed her hand
to the glass, held it up to a monkey’s hand,
counting finger finger finger finger
thumb. Everything that happened
today has happened to somebody—
some other body. At the zoo
she asked again what it was like
on the moon. I said they took small steps.
I bet they worried about floating away.
Maggie Smith is the author of Good Bones (Tupelo Press 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press 2015), winner of the Dorset Prize and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry; Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press 2005), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award; and three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Best American Poetry 2017, Plume, Ploughshares, and many other journals and anthologies. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and was called the “Official Poem of 2016” by Public Radio International. Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, among others. She lives and writes in Bexley, Ohio.