Sandy Anderson was a founding member of Salt Lake Younger Poets in the 1960s, Word Affair in the 1970s, and City Art in the 1990s. Her book At the Edge in White Robes was published by Ghost Planet Press.
God at the Zoo
Henrietta read in the Sunday paper
That the new section of the zoo
Contained not only animals,
Birds, fish reptiles, insects,
Angels, goblins, but God.
Henrietta gasped, God in a cage,
Who knows what he might do!
She rushed immediately to the zoo.
When she came to the deity section
She saw Shiva proudly standing
In an ancient Hindu carving
Within the bars of a cage.
Next it was angels in a Ralphael.
God's cage contained
Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Henrietta was amazed.
Humankind had come so far
As to label its artwork deities,
And lock these deities in cages at the zoo,
The world safe from their touch.
Before I could see the barn
The smell of the silage
Accosted me and my first impulse
Was ugh, how can anyone live here.
But there were always buckets
Of ice cream at Uncle Buster's,
And the pony Sandy who loved to run
That I once ran into the ditch
And we both got tangled in barbed wire
And no one was even mad at me
And the silage smell always became invisible
After five minutes there.
Uncle Buster's was on the left side of the road
And whenever I need to know which side is left
My arms begin to cradle an invisible accordion
And my left hand bellows in and out.
If I am alone the arm actually bellows,
If I am not alone the movement is in my mind,
At least I think it is.
Uncle Buster was a kind of god
With a huge farm and a huge temper
And it was legendary how he could wrestle a bull.
And at this time the country was still a religion to me,
Perfect like uncle Buster's farm;
So when Kennedy was assassinated
The shock of the fallen god
Started nibbling into the cheese of my illusions
And my left arm began to bellow a sadder music
And the smell of the silage
Seldom went away.