Giraffe

by

Marius was a giraffe at Copenhagen zoo who was killed because he was no longer relevant to the gene pool. This isn’t the only zoo this happens at. It seems so unjust when we fight to protect animals in the wild and yet those we hold in captivity can be dispensed at a whim. This is my tribute to him.

Commission.
Five hundred metal polygons.
Welded. The image of him.
Reminder of two years tall
over-represented captive splendour.

I wedge him into four wheels.
Head out of sunroof.

Stopping at lights, people wave,
tie balloons around his neck.
I jump out, quickly scrawl
‘Marius, final tour’ in lipstick on the screen.

We drive across moorland savannahs
Steel blue tongue hooking leaves and branches
Car horns acknowledge the superstar he was.

Six years and twenty-seven thousand
signatures do not recall him. I do.
Immortalised
he peeps out from trees in my garden.
A warning to other giraffes to run
on hearing the click of the rifle.

Marius
Killed by Copenhagen zoo.
Fed to lions.

 

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