A visit to the Bedlam Zoo with Garry Winogrand

I visited her at the zoo,

Or she visited me,

One of the two.

We had shared

A cage; she liked the grapes

They rolled

Under the door. Ate them

One at a time, with two fingers.


We used to slam the tire, her and me;

First her then me, her then me. 

Then one day,

The cage door was left open

And one of us got out,

Can’t remember who, one of the two.


I walked with my bundle on a stick, looking up,

Eating crackers, sometimes stopping

For soup.


Then I came back and knocked.

She was sitting

In her room.

I heard they were going to put her down, or me,

One of the two;

So I came

To say goodbye, and knocked.

She couldn’t hear. She sat.

Through the thick window, I looked, knocked again.

She sat.


They said come on, just like that,

So I went;

Down the hall, through the door, to the room with the chair.

They said sit,

So I sat.

Photograph by Garry Winogrand, taken at the old Central Park Zoo