…and who are we, if not similar to

. . . those hands, those fingers, that face.
Those eyes,
seeing me as I see you.

Genetic relatives
mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda
lowland gorillas in western Africa

and me. Visiting you.
Those hands, those fingers, that face.
We are so alike. Akin.

And in this new Corona world
I feel more akin,
stumbling in my own shrinking habitat.

Have we plundered too far?
Been too sure of our advanced selves?
Has our arrogance been revealed

by a novel virus
that recognizes humans
only as we truly are?

Too smug beings
who caged others
and now it’s payback time.

Photos taken in Washington DC, May 2019: my husband’s hands (in black and white); and the hands and face of a gorilla at the National Zoo.

Poem written for day 24 in National Poetry Writing Month. Toads  asks us to write about “nature’s wonders . . . how everything is connected.” 

Lest someone be offended by this post, please know I do not take this virus lightly. It is a horrific disease that is affecting so many people globally. My heart goes out to all those affected, including those who work so others might live a daily life. Stay safe everyone. I pray daily for a vaccine that this scourge may never happen again.

9 thoughts on “…and who are we, if not similar to

  1. Sherry Marr April 24, 2020 / 12:57 pm

    Yes. I so resonate with this poem – we and the mountain gorillas are more alike than we thought. I too think we have been too arrogant, to much the overlords, rather than the one small part of creation that we, in fact, actually are. I love that you wrote about the mountain gorilla, Lillian. I love it.

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  2. Sherry Marr April 24, 2020 / 12:57 pm

    Yes. I so resonate with this poem – we and the mountain gorillas are more alike than we thought. I too think we have been too arrogant, to much the overlords, rather than the one small part of creation that we, in fact, actually are. I love that you wrote about the mountain gorilla, Lillian. I love it.

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  3. Ellecee April 24, 2020 / 1:01 pm

    A powerful write, indeed we do have things to answer for. Thought provoking words👍❣️🙏

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  4. sanaarizvi April 24, 2020 / 1:39 pm

    “Have we plundered too far?” … Sigh.. I hope not, Lillian. It scares me to even ponder what the coming years will bring. Excellent write 💝

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  5. Rosemary Nissen-Wade April 24, 2020 / 5:26 pm

    It’s hard not to resonate with all that your questions imply. I think many are having such thoughts. We can no longer be naive about what we’ve done. Your photos are very moving; sad indeed to think of these magnificent, highly sentient creatures caged and/or losing their habitat.

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  6. Susie Clevenger April 24, 2020 / 5:53 pm

    Oh this strikes my spirit with truth..We, the animal that is determined to cage and destroy life finds itself now caged in its failure.

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  7. Kenji April 25, 2020 / 2:31 am

    Your message and quesiton in this post are so very true and so powerful, Lill! “Too smug beings
    who caged others and now it’s payback time”, this reminded me of the first movie of Planet of the Apes series. When will we ever learn?

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  8. kim881 April 25, 2020 / 3:27 am

    An interesting comparison of the hands, in both poem and photographs, Lill, bringing the tamed and the wild together under the corona umbrella, where we are stumbling in our shrinking habitats. The questions are tough ones. Humans are definitely too smug and it is payback time. This one struck to the heart.

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  9. adda April 25, 2020 / 11:51 am

    I have wondered this myself.. I loved this. Comparing us, who are now caged at home, to those we have caged… very thought provoking ideas and questions.

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