Tasmanian Tiger

Murder mania in Tasmania
   of thylacines was grand!
Yet now we celebrate the beast
   gone from Van Diemen’s Land.

(It’s not unlike the fate of the wolves
   in the Lower Forty-eight,
which men thought as despicable
   as mosquitos, gripped by hate.)

The last one died in ’36
   at the zoo. For pics, like a mutt,
Benjamin walked and yawned and scratched
   and bit the shutterbug’s butt.

That striped marsupial carnivore— 
   more real than Bigfoot, Yeti
or the Jersey Devil—left scores of fossils.
   Yet we are always ready—

in case we catch one dashing, digging
   or dining—to snap a photo
because—who knows?—they may not all
   be dead like the poor dodo.

Still, for eighty years there’s been
   scant proof he is extant.
So why, then, don’t we say goodby
   you ask? We simply can’t!
Symbol of Tasmania,
   badge of the cricket team,
featured on the coat of arms,
   he inspires a lofty dream: 

Wouldn’t it be fine to clone
   a museum specimen?
Wouldn’t it be a thrill to see
   him go extinct again?