Cecil the Lion – Legendary Trophy


A living legend has died.

Not of old age.

Advanced in years, Cecil walked always

as an ecological study of magnificence.

Treasured by rangers and tourists alike,

(adored may be too easy a word),

Cecil defined the spirit of wildness.

Known to stop cars in their tracks

as he padded along a dusty road,

he would lay his great body down

with its black standout mane

in a vehicle’s shade. “Shoot me,”

he might well have said

to lens-laden tourists. And fire

they did—leaving with prized shots.

They were trophies of a digital sort, not from

an arrow’s wound, not to be mounted

and hung, minus the tormented and skinned

body, not to be measured by weight,

heft and awesomeness, acclaimed

with purported prowess and bravado,

not flaunted in disregard of local

law, heedless of the now fatherless cubs,

likely to be killed by the next-greatest,

as lions are wont to do when claiming

the pride as their own. There is truth

in the old adage that cameras do not lie.

With their way of recording

and spreading knowledge,

they celebrate and preserve life.

Yielding unassailable booty,

they reach across the boundaries

of an enraged Zimbabwe—

conserving forever

a missing presence.

* * *

Legendary Trophy, poem by Mary O’Connor © 2015

Black-maned lion (though not as handsome as Cecil) at Ngorongoro, Tanzania. Photo by Mary O’Connor © 2010





8 thoughts on “Cecil the Lion – Legendary Trophy

  1. This is not hunting, this is murder. This wasn’t even a hunt but a sucker lure. This is what makes me very sick.


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