Monkeys and Mischief

The arrival of their gang throws us into a tizzy:
they come howling, jumping from roof to roof.
They ravage antennas; swing by phone and cable wires;
sneak into buildings, open up refrigerators
and steal fruits and pudding!
We rush to take roses and newly sown plants inside,
yelling for help at idle spectators in the family.

We’re quick to remove clothes from the line,
knowing it pretty well though
that nudity monkeys don’t mind!
We drag our defiant kids into the house
pulling their slender wrists, as they try to break away,
“Monkey”, “Monkey!” shouting with thrill.

The brave among us dare drive them away.

And the tensed neighbor is quick to yell:
“Toward our side, don’t send!”
The abandoned streets, the deserted roofs, the solitary playgrounds:
to us monkeys are dacoits who plunder an Indian village,
and villagers are quiet, indoors.

But we don’t care to find out
why monkeys are mischievous, why they rob.

They aren’t after your marigolds and roses, ladies!
We’ve denuded forests and stolen their food!
When monkeys carry their starving babies clinging to their chests,
can you feel the pain that you do when your child goes hungry?

They aren’t after our cables, dears! And our phones are of no use to them.
They miss the branches of trees– the shelter, the abode of merriment–
that we have cut down for our businesses to thrive.

Yes, to us monkeys are a nuisance.

Have we wondered what we are to them?

Monkeys and Mischief

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