At Western Plains

1 May 2017

When siamang gibbons sing to hold their ground
an air-tight pouch vibrates beneath each chin.
Upright primates gather, marvel at the sound

and over-acted gestures. Rounded mouths
shape reverb like a didge’s barking din.
When siamang gibbons sing to hold their ground

one sprints a rope bridge, scales a tree, a bough
so high and so improbably thin
upright primates, three deep, marvel at the sound

and swing bravado of this acrobatic clown
and they applaud. A young boy cries, “Again!”
When siamang gibbons sing to hold their ground

the display’s recurring, urgent, loud
that in the wild occurs just daily, after dawn.
Upright primates gather, marvel at the sound

and crowd the moat, three deep, as vain apes bound
to stand guard every hour of the sun
when siamang gibbons sing to hold their ground.
Upright primates gather, marvel at the sound.

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