Endangered Subspecies – Jarl Nicholl

The park ranger on the morning program
is talking about the threat posed by stray curs
to dingoes, who themselves seem not averse
to cross-breeding, and why we should give a damn.
Brushing a solar flare out of her blue
and earnest eye, one wonders, is she blind
to the analogy with her own kind?
What chance she sees it? Average-to-low.
Chances are better she swaps alleles with one
of a distinctly less brilliant aspect,
enlarged from some foreign breeding kennel;—
that is to speculate she may be prone
to aiding beings whose hungry eyes reflect
compassion they can’t understand, but smell.

 

Author’s note: 

The location is the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which begins a swathe of dingo country extending most of the way up Australia’s east coast. The subject of the poem is a park ranger speaking on Channel 7’s Sunrise program.