Instead of #ThrowBackThursday, today I’m celebrating #LeapBackMonday.
On my delightful day ‘off’ today, I spent nearly an hour rummaging through an old box of school papers. I flipped through my 8th grade English composition notebook which included pedestrian essays about Romeo and Juliet, A Separate Peace, and The Human Comedy. I discovered research papers written in college about sociology, history, and science. But the most entertaining item was a bound collection of “Creative Writing” from the summer of 1988.
I was eleven and had just moved from a small town in rural Vermont to the hottest place on Earth. Everything about Phoenix, Arizona was a culture shock for me. Most of the collection centered around the intense feelings of a young girl’s recent experience with divorce and having to say goodbye to her friends and teachers. Yet this poem struck me as optimistic, so I thought I’d share it with you.
BACKSTAGE AT THE ZOO
by Phoebe Lyn Paton, Age 11
Where people never look
There are lots of thing like cooks.
They make food night and day
For the animals and the strays.
Gorillas, llamas, hippos, weasels
Once in a while all get measles.
When they get sick,
Doctors come quick.
Endangered ones never have fun.
They’re always looking out for a gun.
But zoologists are looking out too,
To make sure all is safe at the zoo.
One day I hope to be back there,
Helping doctors take good care.
Keeping animals nice and healthy
Even if I’m not real wealthy.
Then I woke up, oh what a dream!
Could I ever be part of a team?
At the zoo, as I stood by the cage,
Wondering if someday, I’d work backstage.
I’ve done it, I’ve done it, I’ve finally done it!
I’ve made my way through years of school and now I’m a GRADUATE!
My studying, my studying, my studying is through,
And now you’ll find me backstage at the Phoenix Zoo!
~ Phoebe DeCook