Their maracas shake in dark trees: even indoors, windows closed, fans on:
they thrum, thrum, a constant presence, insect-induced tinnitus
I like their cascading drone, insistent announcement—we live!
Humans, greedier than any insect, haven’t killed them off, not yet,
unlike the passenger pigeons, once so plentiful
flocks of them darkened the daytime skies for hours
went from most populous bird on the planet
to extinct in a century, a blink of time.
Martha, last survivor, died alone in captivity
a hundred years ago last Monday
just  a stroll from my house,
in a cage at the
Cincinnati Zoo—
it’s still there
on display


-September 3, 2014


  1. #1 by Lisa DR on September 21, 2014 - 9:40 am

    Love this- thank you. “a hundred years ago last Monday.” Perfect Sunday morning, sitting-on-the-porch-swing reading.

    • #2 by Elaine Olund on September 23, 2014 - 10:45 pm

      Thank you, Lisa. It has been wonderful porch-sitting weather.

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