Can you say yes to the world as it is?
Closer, said the nose to the peony.
Sweeter, said the farmer to the ripening peach.
Colder, said the puffin to the atmosphere.
Slower, said the ’possums to anyone who’d hear.
Faster, said the python to his coils after the strike.
Try peaches, said the plum to the teeth before the bite.
Softer, said the porcupine who wanted to be held.
Louder, said the pony to his tiny silver bells.
Creamier, said the peanut on the railroad track.
Redder, said the pear to its blushing back.
Whiter, said the parsnip to the beet and carrot.
Finer, bragged the peacock to the brightly feathered parrot.
Longer, said the child when the story stopped.
Longer, said the mother to the hours on the clock.
All of them wishing the world were different—
but as any wisher knows, it is not.
*This is the P poem for Lian Canty’s Alphabet Menagerie