After Reading Half-Earth
E.O. Wilson says that when the elephants
die, so will we, who have sought and seen
and named 12,000 kinds of ants, armies
and leaf-cutters, iridescent and fiery.
The Mind of the Biosphere, we are busy
with our big-game hunt for happiness,
rounds of beer-pong that require focus,
sidewalks, half the earth. Cups in hand
and cloaked in microbes, humans shuffle
to extinction in sunny fealty to fickle gods,
while hidden species travel the jungle
and earthworm nations settle in moist
darkness. I recycle, shut off lights and shiver.
The future has always been uncertain,
this Not-Knowing as familiar as Love
~ as Luck ~
(to share our genes with thriving rats,) so
one day, when costly measures yield slight
progress, we will cite the sad numbers,
mention those poachers on the savanna.
But E.O.Wilson says we already know
what happens to elephants ~ and to us ~
when families are broken, when
matriarchs and memories are lost.