Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® New York

The Sloth

Theodore Roethke

In moving slow he has no Peer.
You ask him something in his Ear,
He thinks about it for a Year;

And, then, before he says a Word
There, upside down (unlike a Bird),
He will assume that you have Heard—

A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug.
But should you call his manner Smug,
He'll sigh and give his Branch a Hug;

Then off again to Sleep he goes,
Still swaying gently by his Toes,
And you just know he knows he knows.

* * *

"The Sloth" by Theodore Roethke, from The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke. Copyright © 1950. Reprinted with the permission of Doubleday, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

 

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