Mr. Rogers Visits Koko the Gorilla, a poem
Koko was clearly in love with him.
He was the human equivalent
of what in her world would be a male silverback
& I think she would have adopted him into her tribe
in a heartbeat. She took his shoes & socks off
& tickled his feet & pressed them to her own.
She kissed his hands & groomed his face & hair
with her fingertips. She wanted his gold cufflinks
(to remember him by) & you could hear the anxiety
in his voice when he said “My grandfather
gave those to me.” Really, really hoping
he was going to get away still possessing
his treasured cufflinks. What if Koko
had insisted? Would Penny have been able
to talk her out of it? Distract her to something else?
Mr. Rogers seemed nervous but in awe
at the communion with such a “being,”
as he called her. She flirted, playing
peekaboo with him, her large eyes knowing & coy
from underneath a cloth covered with pictures of kittens.