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Saturday, October 02, 2021


by Sally Zakariya

The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of nearly two dozen species of animals and plants that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially declared extinct. (Auscape/Universal Images Group/Getty Images via The Washington Post, September 29, 2021)

Few were privileged to see it
(if in fact they saw it)
but many clung to hope
that the Lord God Bird
would show himself
in all his feathered glory
a refugee from the primeval garden 
rising with majestic shudder of wings
opening his massive beak
wailing a proud “I Am!”

Was it overactive imagination
or just silly optimism
to think that God might save 
his wondrous creature 
as a sign for us of immortality?

Or must we, as the scientists 
now say, vainly watch 
for one who never comes again?

Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some 80 print and online journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent publication is Something Like a Life (Gyroscope Press). She is also the author of Muslim Wife, The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, When You Escape, Insectomania, and Arithmetic and other verses, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table.