Once there was a panda, and he was attacked by a leopard. A much beloved shepherdess came to his aid, and though he survived, she did not. The pandas came to her funeral with armbands of ash on their all-white fur, but as they sobbed and hugged, and rubbed tears from their eyes, and covered their ears to give themselves peace from the grieving, they marked themselves for all eternity.

They gave Giant Pandas
an origin story of
and then wonder why they do not
fight for life.

Some days
it is the best I can do
to sit upright,
and chew my food,

have lost
no one
whose ashes
I must
wear on my skin
for every turn
of my iterations.

How many sobbing sunrises
have pandas seen
since their loss?

How many weeping clouds,
and too-full skies,
and painfully-empty pastures?

When they climb so high,
so high,
is it to remember

or forget?

Do you think they remember the last time
anyone even asked?

Thought I’d give this tweet by @naomilingwrites a chance as a prompt. Happy Pepper Day!

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14 thoughts on “endangered


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