Mascarene Parrot, John Gerrard Keulemans, Wikimedia Commons contributors

“When animals die out, the last survivor
is called an endling. It is a word of soft beauty,
heartbreaking solitude, and chilling finality.”
(Ed Yong) *

They Went “Gentle Into That Good Night” **

West African Black Rhinoceros, Baiji White Dolphin,
Pyrenean Ibex, Passenger Pigeon, Tasmanian Tiger,
Stellers Sea Cow, Great Auk, Dodo,

Baiji White Dolphin, Picture credit: takoradee, Wikimedia Commons user

Camelops, Glyptodon, Little Swan Island Hutia,
Carolina Parakeet, Dusky Seaside Sparrow,
Mascarene Parrot, Lesser Antillean Macaw,

West African Black Rhinoceros, Picture Credit: Yoky (Wiki Commons User), Africa Review, Wikimedia Commons contributors

Gould’s Emerald, The Sloane’s Urania Butterfly,
Pinta Island Tortoise, Jamaica Giant Galliwasp,
Golden Toad, Tecopa Pupfish,

Pinta Island Tortoise, Rodrigo Buendia/Getty Images

Zanzibar Leopard, Falkland Islands Wolf,
Javan Tiger, Monk Seal, Koala Lemur,
Desert Rat-Kangaroo, Pig-Footed Bandicoot,

Golden Toad, Charles H. Smith, Wikimedia Commons contributors

Dusky Flying Fox, Saiga Antelope,
The Northern White Rhinoceros,
Quagga, Cape Lion, Mauritius Blue Parrot,

The Sloane’s Urania Butterfly, W. F. Kirby, Wikimedia Commons contributors

Tristan Moorhen, Saint Helena Giant Earwig,
Mauritian Giant Skink, Bluebuck, Giant Fossa,
Eastern Cougar, California Grizzly Bear,

Koala Lemur, FunkMonk (Michael B. H.), Wikimedia Commons contributors

Gull Island Vole, Newfoundland Wolf,
Bubal Hartebeest, Pink-Headed Duck,
Asiatic Cheetah, Giant Tapir, Cebu Warty Pig,

Passenger Pigeon, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Wikimedia Commons contributors

Ilin Island Cloudrunner, Japanese River Otter,
Queen Of Sheba’s Gazelle, Gloomy Tube-Nosed Bat,
Formosan Clouded Leopard, Ascension Night Heron,

Formosan Clouded Leopard, Joseph Wolf, Wikimedia Commons contributors


Wrangler among poinsettias 1

You might conclude, wrongly, they missed the Ark,
but finding no other like themselves
and knowing God, having done what he could,
was resting, each one slipped into the night,
the only light a child’s bedside lamp, dimming.

It is for us, the grieving, to voice
some final contrition:
We did not know to save you.

Logsdon Chapel, Hardin-Simmons University Campus, https://www.hsutx.edu/academics/schools-colleges/

For the faculty, staff, and students
of Logsdon Seminary,
Hardin-Simmons University.
And for all the others.


*Yong, Ed. “SCIENCE: The Last of Its Kind.” The Atlantic on-line, July 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/extinction-ending-care/590617/

**Thomas, Dylan. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: 1934-1952, New Directions Publishing Corporation, Paperback, 1971, p. 128.