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Wonder, On Meeting a Non-human Being

Written by Ian Redmond

Have you seen the hand
Of a chimpanzee?
They have knuckles and fingernails,
Just like me.

Some people, mistakenly,
Say they have paws,
But no!
They have fingers and thumbs,
Rather like yours.

Have you touched the palm
Of a chimpanzee?
They have smooth, bare skin there,
Just like me.

Their grip can be vice-like,
Or delicate, plus -
They have unique finger-prints,
Just like us.

***

Have you watched the face
Of a chimpanzee?
Their expressions show feelings
For all to see.

Laughter or anger,
Quizzical or fear,
There’s no doubt in the minds
Of all who are near.

Laughter? Yes!
Haven’t you heard the laugh
Of a chimpanzee?
They chuckle when tickled,
Rather like me.

It’s true that their jaws are
Somewhat prognathus,
But they’ve 32 teeth and a tongue
Just like us.

And their lips are so soft
And so tender and fine,
Though admittedly somewhat
More mobile than mine!

***

Have you looked into the eyes
Of a chimpanzee?
There’s someone at home in there
Looking back at me!

And if you cause pain
To a chimpanzee,
Their friends show compassion,
Just like me.

Have you heard of the plight
Of the chimpanzee?
Someone should do something!
That someone is…
ME.

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