Jennifer Franklin

Memento Mori: Northern White Rhinos
June 24, 2022 Franklin Jennifer

Memento Mori: Northern White Rhinos


They are grey, big as boulders,
gentle as the grass they spend
the whole day grazing. The only two
left of their kind, mother and daughter—
they live under armed guard
in a Kenyan sanctuary,
after spending their life caged
in a Czech zoo.
Unaware of their doom,
they pass their last days eating
and napping. Each time they lower
their heavy bodies down to rest—
they sleep, tusks touching. Love,
what do any of us have but this?

Jennifer Franklin is the author of three poetry collections including If Some God Shakes Your House (Four Way Books, 2023). She is the recipient of a City Artist Corps/NYFA grant in poetry a CRCF grant in literature and teaches poetry workshops in Manhattanville’s MFA program and at the Hudson Valley Writers Center, where she is Program Director.