MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
Poppy by Carol Dandrade

Table of Contents

Poetry


350 Words

Lisa Reily

For ‘Washoe’, a female chimpanzee who
learned to sign, and understand, 350 words.


Three hundred and fifty words,
that is what they taught me,
so I can speak to strangers
from inside my empty cage.

Three hundred and fifty signs,
but that is not all I know;
I know when something is wrong
as I look out through the bars.

I ignore the other white coats,
give them my usual cold shoulder.
I wait for my white-coat friend;
she has been gone too long now.

Three hundred and fifty words,
my white-coat friend has come.
She has not been here for days;
I give her the cold shoulder, too.

My friend comes close to see me,
with sadness in her eyes; of our
three hundred and fifty words,
she signs, ‘My baby died’.

Three hundred and fifty words,
they taught me how to sign;
I trace my finger down my cheek;

this sign, I know, means ‘cry’.




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