Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

Today I saw a picture
of a passenger pigeon.
Stuffed, it was,
dead to this world for
over a century.

Five billion – forty percent
of North America’s birds –
extinct in
short decades.
The earth wept.

Ignorance, greed, vanity,
contributed to
its demise,
though technology
assisted the carnage.

Cannon blasted flocks
three hundred miles long –
no skill required –
birds wiped
from skies and trees.

For plumage, prized
by fashion’s
momentary vanity
of frills and furbelows,
our heritage was stolen.

That picture
of a stuffed bird
brought this tragedy
home to me.
Today I wept.
By Frances McKay

Copyright © – Frances Mackay 2004