Artwork © DL Polonsky


Don’t Pet Our Kiwi!

Dear Florida, if you ban classic nudes,

Or poems by Amanda Gorman, or

Non-binary identities, or dudes

That do say gay, or textbooks that explore

Pangender issues, we’ll deplore you, yet

Exotic diehard anti-wokeness lacks

True urgency down under … But, don’t pet

Our kiwi, or you’re bound to get our backs

Up rapidly! Our kiwi is a shy,

Retiring bird. Did no one at your zoo

Know it’s nocturnal? Shouldn’t that imply

It can’t be brightly lit on public view

While getting pawed? So let it just retire

In darkness—or you’ll feel New Zealand’s ire!


Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Florida State University who has returned to live in his native England. His acrostic sonnets have appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, The Creativity Webzine, Current Conservation, the Ekphrastic Review, Grand Little Things, Light, Lighten Up Online, MONO., the New Verse News, Oddball Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, the Satirist, the Washington Post and WestWard Quarterly. The poem was prompted by the Guardian story “‘We have offended a nation’: Miami zoo’s treatment of kiwi bird enrages New Zealand.”

DL Polonsky is a Boston area artist, writer, and filmmaker. His caricatures have appeared in The Boston Herald and His written work includes the children’s book The Letter Bandits from T.B.W. Books.