Bullfrog, American, squeezed in the grip
of the keeper’s hand—you’re not on the list
of invasive species in North Carolina,
said the keeper.
Toad, with venom glands behind your eyes,
you are not native and eating more than your share
of something rare or needed by another species.
A boy on his mother’s lap
clacked his rhinoceros clacker
while the keeper talked;
his rhino invaded the air,
a species of smack talk.
The rat, even with his jaunty black stripe
down his white body, didn’t seem
docile enough to touch, though
plenty of children did.
Another invader from Asia
by way of Europe,
arriving with traders
to take all they could.