Giraffes Don’t Graze
By Daniel Charland
Giraffes don’t graze unless they can help it,
their heads far removed from the delicate blades,
twenty feet in between, and long knobby legs
with not enough knees to ease a descent.
At the watering hole they face the same problem.
Now the calves do catch an easier break
being close to the ground, but the grown-ups must
spread their front legs’ awkward triangle-style and
bend stiff, spread out, to reach the floor.
Instead, they prefer to munch away
leaves—seventy-five pounds a day—
where the height suits them better,
no cricks in their necks
bad backs, or awkward posture.
And this is why, my young friend
I cannot play on the floor the way I did,
with your blocks and trucks and animal toys.
My body grew larger, I’ll have nothing but
pain and discomfort if— down to the ground,
the long way to fall— I hunch and squat and settle down.
Like your toy giraffe, I’m better suited
to stay where I’m meant. But let me lift you up to me.