Poem For Winkie, And In Tribute To Joanna
By Deborah Tanzer
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

Poem For Winkie, And In Tribute To Joanna
By Deborah Tanzer, July 2006

In the grief and love so many of us are feeling, I wrote this poem for Winkie, and in tribute to Joanna. I hope it may be of some comfort to all of you at the Elephant Sanctuary, and help ease this tragic and difficult time. [Joanna, one of Winkie's caretakers, was killed instantly when Winkie stepped on her.]

Your eye swollen, your being pained, 
Dear wounded elephant, torn from your family, chained in our zoos. 
Our human eyes weep, swollen with tears, 
That history has trumped love. 
We avert our eyes in shame.

The best in humans, Joanna helped to heal, 
But the wounds run deep as the riverís blood, 
And the blows have had their toll. 
Do you feel guilt? We do not know. 
But we, as humankind, should, and wail.

We trumpet a vow now to you, our kin, 
To open the eyes of people everywhere, 
That they will see, and know, and care. 
We will never forget. 
For you do not, 
And we are you.

Winkie was captured in Burma 30 years ago. While at the Madison zoo. Winkie was chained up to 16 hours a day indoors, standing in her own waste, This added to her foot infections caused from lack of exercise; her outdoor area was no larger than a small backyard. Winkie was beaten and her beatings were caught on tape by activists. This undoubtedly was a factor in this tragedy.

[Copyright 2006. May be reproduced, forwarded, and distributed with authorís name included]


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