The Collected Poems of Steve McRoberts
The Collected Poems of Steve McRoberts
  Song of the Last Animal

With eager hunters drawing near
I hugged her more protectively.
She gazed at me with eyes of fear
and whispered her last song to me:

"I'm the last of all the animals
who'll ever live on earth.
The last to feed the cannibals
who ruled our death and birth.

It was rain and sun, thaw and freeze,
it was branches, leaves, and dung,
the sparkling lakes, the buoyant breeze,
which filled the ancient songs we sung.

All those songs, with us, are done,
and only smog and metal wings
will rise up to the sun,
and fly across your silent springs.

For it's been countless bloody seasons
since the humans all arrived
who had their morals and their reasons
which none of us survived.

Who made up for their every lack
by slash-and-burn and massacre,
and ripped the skin right off our backs
because they had no hide or fur.

Who crammed their face-paint in our eyes
because they were ugly and odd,
or took our life in sacrifice
because they sinned against their god.

Who pierced our flesh with lead and hook,
and sentenced innocents to prison,
or stood dumbfounded as they'd look
and never see our sacred vision:

a vision of life without their walls,
of homes, unpaved, uncaged,
of freely running without stalls,
of dying naturally, and aged,

in a world without the dread
of those who called themselves humane
as they'd shoot us in the head
or dine upon our last remains."

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