For a Coming Extinction
Gray whale Now that we are sinding you to The End That great god Tell him That we who follow you invented forgiveness And forgive nothing
I write as though you could understand And I could say it One must always pretend something Among the dying When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks Empty of you Tell him that we were made On another day
The bewilderment will diminish like an echo Winding along your inner mountains Unheard by us And find its way out Leaving behind it the future Dead And ours
When you will not see again The whale calves trying the light Consider what you will find in the black garden And its court The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless And fore-ordaining as stars Our sacrifices Join your work to theirs Tell him That it is we who are important
[W.S. Merwin]See also: This imminent extinction. More: Right whales written off. "It is we who are important.