read about Geronimo here

Geronimo! That is my name;
I’ve garnered international fame
because I haven’t got TB,
or have I? That’s the quandary
which has become a running game.

Results of skin tests say the same,
both positive, but many claim
false-positives apply to me,

Protesters round my paddock blame
the government, they say it’s lame
for not researching properly
alpacas such as I to see
if they should snuff my mortal flame.



Paul A. Freeman is the author of Rumours of Ophir, a crime novel which was taught in Zimbabwean high schools and has been translated into German. In addition to having two novels, a children’s book and an 18,000-word narrative poem (Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers!) commercially published, Paul is the author of hundreds of published short stories, poems and articles.

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3 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    Paul, thanks for this poem about a handsome, life-loving animal who clearly fell victim to bureaucracy. Whatever his state of health, he encountered the faceless corporate entity into which human and humanitarian motives easily devolve. Couldn’t questionable skin tests have been followed by a physical examination BEFORE Geronimo’s death? Couldn’t executioners have administered a tranquilizer before moving him? That is standard veterinary practice.

    In the poem, I like “running game,” especially after seeing the news video. Near the end, I would say “such as me” because the pronoun stands in apposition to “alpacas,” the direct object of “researching.” And “me” adds an internal rhyme!

    • Paul Freeman

      Thanks for the informed comments, Margaret. It was a shame what happened to Geronimo. Stories like this tend to grip the UK when there’s little serious news, thus making Geronimo an international celebrity until he met his fate.

    • Margaret Coats

      I forgot to mention that “Geronimo the Alpaca” resonates rhythmically with the ferocious and elusive namesake, “Geronimo the Apache.”


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