Please cite all poem references: “Excerpt from ‘Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain’ by Barbara Vance.” Thank you!

Two Gibbons Reach for the Moon

There once were two gibbons
High up in a tree
Who stared out before them,
And what did they see?

Not the fields, nor the haystacks,
The June bugs in June;
No, the gibbons instead
Fixed their eyes on the moon.

“How delicious!” they cried,
“Such a round, perfect sphere.
Let’s reach out and snatch it,
For it looks very near.”

So one gibbon swung down,
For the moon hung quite low,
And he stretched, and he strained
Far as his arm would go.

But, try as he might,
It avoided his grasp;
And he wiped at his brow
And then said with a gasp,

“It’s just slightly too far,
Just a hair, just a bit;
I am sure if you help me
We two could reach it.”

So, forming a chain,
One ape hung from the other
And lunged once again
As he clung to his brother.

“It is just a smidge far,
Just a sliver, a tad.
Let us find one more friend,
And it won’t be so bad.”

So the two became three,
Became four, became ten;
But the moon seemed to skirt off
Again and again.

Still, the gibbons keep trying.
They strain in the dark,
And each time they find
They are shy of the mark.

They gather in daylight
And rest when it’s noon;
But once nighttime comes,
They all reach for the moon.

~ Barbara Vance

Excerpt from the poetry collection “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain”

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