Poems of the Week

Fixing the Tyger

by Julia Griffin

“An international team of surgeons have started measuring a tiger in India for an artificial paw, thought to be the first attempt in the world to fit one of the animals with a prosthesis. The eight-year-old male named Sahebrao was caught in a poacher’s trap along with his brother six years ago. The older sibling died, but Sahebrao was rescued and taken to the Maharashtra Animal and Fisheries Science University for treatment.”—The Guardian

Tyger Tyger, cross and dour
In the shelters of Nagpur,
What physicians dare apply
To mend thy damaged symmetry?

What brave souls, deserving awe,
Prepared thee a prosthetic paw?
Assign the proper credit to
The Maharashtra Science U:

Theirs was the hammer, theirs the chain—
Or so a poet might explain
The instruments they used to keep
Thy fearful sinews sound asleep;

And when their arts had laid thee flat
Beneath the scan that’s labelled CAT,
It was the Maharashtra crowd
That stitched thee up and did thee proud.

Tyger Tyger now complete
On thy newly-balanced feet,
Did they smile their work to see?
Or run like hell away from thee?