An Animal Rights Poem from


Avenue By Gretchen Primack

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.


By Gretchen Primack

I'm tired. Men can Hey baby
all they want. A station wagon
shudders into reverse,
a plum wrinkles
its skin; three nurses
walk their smoke break,
a bird decides no,
paper bag tumbleweeds
tumble. Too much
hangs on a doorknob.
Too many choke
the awnings. Tired water
holds itself up by the curbs;
all that grows in the hardy
filth of the avenue
holds itself up; the dirty hands
and minds, someone
hollering about grace.
Look at that bucket of carrots
outside the deli, glowing
like a lampshade. How can that man,
peeling them in another language,
bear it?
Beside him, pyramids of citrus.
Rows and pyramids and buckets:
all that bounty at eye level. Up above,
nothing at all, as if the sky
has always been imaginary.

Return to Poetry by Gretchen Primack
Return to Animal Rights Poetry