I had a lot going on today and nearly missed the daily post, but where I live there is still 30 minutes left in this day. Running out of time actually works well with the poem inspired by today’s prompt from my local Stroll of Poets group. The call to write a “last of a kind” poem took me to this Mental Floss article, and led me to write this:
Specimens that are the last
living member of their kind.
Such a cute term for something so calamitous.
In captivity, they’ve been given names:
Benjamin the Thylacine, died in Australia, 1936
Martha the Passenger Pigeon, left the world in Cincinnati, 1914
Toughie the Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog, lost his life in Atlanta, 2016
Lonesome George the Pinta Island Tortoise , lived for decades on California’s Santa Cruz Island,
and was more than 100 years old when he died in 2012.
Turgi the Polynesian Tree Snail, the last of a species who inhabited the earth
from 1.5 million years BC to 1996.
Others who lived their final days roaming free, until they faded away.
We can never know when they really left, yet we write memorials to
Booming Ben the Heath Hen, last spotted in Massachusetts in 1932
and Celia the Pyrenean Ibex, whose body was found in 2000 in Spain.
What name will the last one of us have?
Emma? Hakim? Fabrizzio or Wei?
What will mark our passing,
how will it be known,
who can remember
when there is no one left to write about us?