by Ann Howells

The last elephant
kneels in supplication, 
polar bear’s fragile scaffold  
trembles –  
reliquary of gristle and bone.  
How many species lost? 

Glacial melt. Drought.  
The rainforest burns.  
If this virus does not kill us, 
perhaps another. 
What will be left in the end 
but the indomitable cockroach? 

Man with his big brain, 
opposable thumbs, 
shoots a rocket to the moon,  
ignores bones  
gathering at his feet. 

Ann Howells

Ann Howells edited Illya’s Honey for eighteen years. She has been named a Distinguished Poet of Dallas. Recent books: So Long As We Speak Their Names (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Painting the Pinwheel Sky (Assure Press, 2020). Chapbooks Black Crow in Flight and Softly Beating Wings were published through contests.

Support Dear Damsels

Words are empowering – not only for the women who write them, but those who read them too.

Join our Patreon and help us continue to offer an inclusive and welcoming space for women to come together, share their words, and get a resounding response back.

Sign up to our Patreon