The Zoic Chain
My parents always seemed to be humane,
Protecting beasts once sought with spear or bow,
And eating guiltily the ones still slain,
Ennobling evolution’s theme . . . although
They gave me newer weapons, bats and balls,
To use with spindly arms and legs as best
I could in childhood games —or vicious brawls
When status hung on challenges addressed.
And that began a surge of rivalries
Legitimized in orchestrated bouts,
Our high-school football’s warlike strategies,
Its rowdy triumphs, its coach-demoting routs
And next my car became a roaring beast
To awe competing studs, whom I deflated
With reckless speed, and also thus increased
My sexual rights with all the girls I dated.
And college finished, then came subtler striving:
A résumé puffed up and bargains struck,
Some nineteenth hole and locker-room conniving,
Astounding corporate climbs through lies and luck.
And now my Rolls and three –piece suit make plain
That I don’t care if moralists reject us
For I at least now head old Darwin’s chain —
I’m first among the species homo erectus.