Farewell, Striped Dog – Allan Padgett

I was the last Thylacine
I died on a cold September day in Hobart Zoo September 1936

dying desperately alone
untethered from my race
unfettered by any need for
the genes of aeons to

keep me in my place
wild and free, muscular, crepuscular
ranging far and wide
a tiger in the bush
a dog at large
a species on a leash

I died this day, a ghastly specimen
(a boy? – no scrotum. a girl? who knows)
on a cold wet concrete floor
left out of my warm hutch that night
abandoned by my keepers
my stripes folding into the stricken
bars of my cage
teeth biting hard in silent rage
voice lost with age

I would howl despair throttling any capacity to share my terror of
this final transit, this last hard slog
across an embittered raging threshold
of loss, continuity, purpose, and –

The Tasmanian Tiger died forever with me on
this dismal, darkest, lightless day