Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Last Thylacine

When you told me you had gotten married,
I thought about the last thylacine.

Isn't that just like me?
You, who once knew me so well,
Know it is.

In eight years, a lot of things change.
There are always more dingoes,
More hunters,
More outlet malls, all the same.

Normalcy eludes me--
Me, with the stripes on my back.
Maybe I saw things that were not there,
Like desire in return,
Or other thylacines.

Maybe I only embarrassed you,
Or myself,
But I always believed you rarer
Than you ever turned out to be.

So, when you told me you had gotten married,
I thought, of course...
Of course you did;
And if, in time, I cried, it was not for you,
But for the last thylacine.
______

17 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

you convey such sadness...

Helen said...

Well dear Shay, I had to look this one up! .. (carnivorous marsupial of Australia - extinct)
And yes, this is sad, she/you deserve better.

hedgewitch said...

Ahhhhhgggh--I just couldn't watch the video--42 seconds and I was crying. There is a lot of the unsaid in this, and a lot that goes without saying, but when the heart is heavy, tears will often lighten it, or if not that, words.
Something unique is lost to all of us when one of us goes extinct, but some will never realize that.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

My favorite flavor: bittersweet. The pain and the detail were exquisite. There may be fewer thylacines, but there are always thylacine enthusiasts, who want to know everything they can about this marvelous, beautiful strange creature, created only by a god who is also marvelous, beautiful and strange. Loved it.

cloudia charters said...

Normalcy eluded me - now I avoid it!

Touched with sadness





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Brandee Shafer said...

Now I know what a thylacine is. I'm sorry for your sadness.

Mama Zen said...

This is heartbreaking.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

it's difficult for me to wrap my mind around an entire species becoming extinct...

"But I always believed you rarer
than you ever turned out to be."

beautiful words for what could only have been painful.

love this, SP, as i do all of your words!

Kerry O'Connor said...

But I always believed you rarer
Than you ever turned out to be...

There are those of us, dear friend, who expect to much of the mortals around us. We expect them to be made in our own images of what they should be, and our hearts break every time we realize how short they fall. Forgive them their inability to match expectations, but never lower the bar.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Yes, we displace our sadness and loss (or maybe that is how some of us experience it best).
xoxo

ellen abbott said...

oh yes, I cried over my self-delusions more than once.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love what Kerry says. My heart is disappointed when I watch rare and beautiful people around me settle for being so much less than they could be. But we must keep that bar set high nevertheless.

The video broke my heart. That beautiful creature, trapped. If I lived anywhere near his cage, I would have to cut his prison and free him.

Sarah Machlachlan is one of my heroes. She has a place in Tofino, and has established a free music program for talented impoverished kids in Vancouver who would otherwise not have the chance to follow their dreams. Plus she is an animal activist.

Your poem is written beautifully, as always. Especially love your last lines.

Sioux said...

"But I always believed you rarer
Than you ever turned out to be."

So simple...so profound...

I mourned over the thylacine video...Did it have some inkling it was the last one alive? Living in captivity, with no other of its species--how tragic. And to think of all the species or the races we've systematically made extinct or tried to extinguish (Native Americans). It's terribly depressing.

Lynn said...

That is so sad.

flipside records said...

"But I always believed you rarer
Than you ever turned out to be." ... Ouch. Now THAT is an insult.

"In a shallow pouch that opened rearward, the female carried two to four young at a time." (dictionary.com) ... And this is why they are extinct. They wore themselves out and finally said "no more babies" and no more running with the pack. (But there's protection in pack life. Protection from yourself, protection from hunters ... but not outlet malls.)

"Maybe I saw things that were not there,
Like desire in return,
Or other thylacines." ... This is so sad. It must be painful to be the only one of your kind.

These are my favorites:

"I thought, of course...
Of course you did"

"And if, in time, I cried, it was not for you,
But for the last thylacine"

I love that in the end, you are crying for your own miserable state. Now you are completely alone. And that's that. Poem over.

flipside records said...

What a perfect Sarah song to set this video to. This makes me angry ... if extinction is impending, let them at least go out wild and not caged.

RMP said...

Thylacine...interesting creature--a new one for me.

I really like the "normalcy eludes me" stanza. something about it just stuck me.