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?