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Clade Song 12

If a Tamarin Could Drop a Marshmallow into Your World

Yes, it would remember whether you
had chosen to push the lever dropping a marshmallow
into its world, or whether you had walked past
and whether you had walked past studiously
not looking at the Tamarin watching you
or whether you had walked past, telling the Tamarin
“Not today, sweetie,” or “This marshmallow is mine.”
It would remember and there’s a 93% probability
that it would factor your choice into its choice,
which are pretty good odds that if you haven’t
given it a marshmallow, it won’t give you one—
quid pro quo, you scratch my back, et cetera.

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Janet Bowdan's poems have appeared in APR, Blood Orange Review, The Rewilding Anthology and elsewhere. She teaches at Western New England University and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, their son, a cat who's perfected Katharine Hepburn's glare, and a book-nibbling chinchilla.   



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