I look up in awe, as the creatures I idolize
stand twenty feet away, completely
unaware of my existence, unbothered
by the tears beginning to gather at
the corners of my eyes.
There is no explanation, no deep-seated
reason for my sudden overflow of emotions.
The excitement, the pure childish joy
that bounds from my chest is not
unexpected, but exceeds anything I was
prepared for. I glimpse the looks on my friends’
faces. They see me. They understand,
they are as happy for me as I am for myself,
and as I hold out a long branch to the
long-necked animal far too large to dream
of keeping as a pet, those friends
cheer me on. This is
my dream. I’ve waited 24 years.
Just to pet a giraffe.