Say what you will of me
I prophesy
a doom that is
if only…

Don’t believe me,
read the Bible:
God let two
of every creature
man and beast
survive the Flood.

When Zeus flooded Earth
he, too, left one couple—
but no animals.
The oracle told them
Start again
forget the past
thus animals and people reappeared—
note that History was lost.

we read
that Earth’s last
two white rhinoceros
both female
graze in a Kenyan zoo.
The last white rhino sperms
refrigerated now
haven’t so far
These two animals may wait
but you and I cannot.
Once they die
how many more lives
shall we do without?

But wait, if that is not enough
hear the virus—
“pestilence”, “pandemic”, “plague.”
Though every age has had one
understanding lags.
Let our masks not muffle truth:
Let’s all take strength from speaking out
alone for now
together then.

After two years at Bryn Mawr College, Mary Clurman transferred to Cooper Union Art School for her BFA. Now a retired Montessori teacher, she lives in Princeton, NJ and summers in Bar-nard, VT. A jack-of-all media—woodworking, cooking, gardening, local issues—she is finally concentrating on poetry.