Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Testing of Anti-Depressants on Laboratory Rats


Lately I’ve had the feeling-
Call it a notion-
That whether I’m staring at the same wall 
eleven hours a day 
Or rearranging the wood shavings in my unfurnished cage,
That really I'm just going through the motions;  
Even the maze they drop me in each afternoon 
observing me as I go through 
just doesn't engage me the way it used to. 
But since last week, all that has changed. 
and though I am not exactly certain what this new drug does 
what I pieced together from eavesdropping on them 
is that it has something to do with something called Serotonin 
and the positive results an uptake of it can yield. 
Now being a rat, I must confess
pharmacology is a bit outside my field 
but judging by their glowing faces
You could tell they hoped this pill might solve
a problem that has accompanied man throughout the ages.  
and though I cannot speak of the human condition, 
by the third day of tests, you could detect quite a change
in my disposition. 
While before, the endless days cooped up in a cage
Always left me a little emotionally drained  
Now I feel quite an affinity 
for all my daily activities 
Never before have I stared at the wall so enthusiastically 
Or rearranged the wood shavings in my cage with such vivacity 
And as for the maze that I run through every day 
while I used to go through it in the most apathetic fashion 
Now I fly through those same corridors 
With such √©lan,  such passion! 
Even the scientists seem sincerely happy 
When they observe my new-found contentment 
As if this pill was designed not just to expel
Man’s despair but mine as well.    
And as for my previous ennui, I must confess
what with my busy schedule of cages to squat in 
and mazes to be dropped in 
who can find time to be so depressed?   
And though I will be euthanized in a week or two 
(Such is the destination all us lab rats are headed to)
It is no great matter! 
These minor inconveniences do not have the same effect on me that they used to. 
Now I take it all in stride,
Stoic, complacent, and unfazed 
And if you don’t believe me, 
then come visit the Lab in the next few days
And you will see me
Smiling brightly 
Through the bars of my barren cage.