The White Wolf
by Julie L. Hoddinott
The white wolf came in the night
to talk about her babies,
huddled in their den without food.
She came to ask for human help,
which, somehow, we don't know how to give.
So many species gone forever,
so many voices, stilled,
who will no longer sing the sun up in the morning,
or bed down, safe and content, stomachs full,
with their offspring at night.
So many wild creatures being hunted and slaughtered,
driven out of their diminishing habitat,
flushed by wildfires into the open,
starving and desperate, with no where to hide.
The white wolf came to talk about these things,
in the spirit of sisterhood with all living beings.
"Wolves," she told me, "are selective
in our hunting.
We hunt only for food,
choose the old, the lame, the sick,
in order to preserve the herd.
In ten hunts, we catch and eat only once.
For we wolves think about tomorrow,
not only today."
I gave her a bowl of milk, in sisterhood,
ashamed of my species and our greed,
who do not think of all the other beings
who will share our tomorrows.
She lapped it up calmly, gave me a grateful paw,
looked into my eyes and returned
to the diminishing forest
she still calls home, until it, too, is gone.
How many "forever gone"'s do we need
to realize we are decimating our own habitat,
as well as hers,
that the day will come when we
will be the ones displaced,
searching for food for our children?
For no gardens can grow
on a dead and burning planet.
How is it we can't see
their fate and ours is forever bound?
I watch her slip away into the forest,
wondering how many of her pups
will survive till they are grown.
Experts estimate the current rate of loss of species to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the normal rate of extinction (which would occur if humans were not around). Unlike extinction events in history,the scientists tell us, the current rate of extinction is one for which humans are completely responsible. Source: World Wildlife Federation