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When crocodiles forget to float and minnows drown in shoals,
when herds of horses go unshod and find they've lost their soles;
when owls are tossed from parliament and zebras lose their zeal,
moorhens are not plump enough to make a hearty meal

and ducks become unstrung and have no pity for the dove,
flamingos cannot stand to hear how snakes are knot in love,
tigers suffer losing streaks, while baying hounds grow mute
because bullfinches bellow with a kitten in pursuit;

when ferrets lose their businesses, the magpies lose their charms,
chickens fail to clutch their eggs because they have no arms,
lions lose their pride as they observe the dogs unpack,
while dunlins have their fling until the fox comes skulking back:

when nouns forego collecting and the passive verbs all flee,
our one will wane to ones, my love, and not be all of me.

1846 painting of Noah's Ark