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433rd Weekly Poetry Contest winner: De-Extinction

by Miles T. Ranter

So smart and masterly you’d been,
   you women and you men
who’d brought us back: we thylacines
   and woolly mammoths, then

the quagga and bush moa. All
   you people said, “Amen!”
But after just a few short years
   we had gone extinct again.

We’d walked in bliss or died in line
   with natural selection
or staggered about, blind to the purpose
    of our resurrection.

The climate wasn’t right, there was
   no room in any zoo.
The world had changed and there was nix
   that anyone could do.

That didn’t stop you, though, from bringing
    us to life once more.
How could we former fauna live
   as we had lived before —

to hunt, inhale the air (polluted),
   munch grass or sprint or prance.
You grieved and, with your pretty planet,
   had a last romance.

It isn’t quite so dire, though —
   you’ve cloned a ferret. Yup!
Elizabeth Ann you’ve christened her.
   Yes, things are looking up:

first time you clever clogs had ever
   revived a threatened species,
a brown-eyed slender little soul
   with rounded ears. You see she’s

quite pleased inside her hole or preying
   on a prairie dog
and, with her blackish mask and nose,
   as eager and agog

as you are of the future of
   the species you revive —
or at least this one. If she does well,
   we’ll give you a high five.


Appeared in Orbis.

See all the entrants to 433rd Weekly Poetry Contest