some say
I'm now almost
extinct in this park

but the people
who say this
don't know

that by smelling
the orchids
in the trees

they're sensing
the fragrance
of my chops

that by hearing
the rumbling
of the waterfalls

they're listening
to my ancestors'
great roar

that by observing
the constellations
of the night sky

they're gazing
at the star spots
on my fur

that I am and
always will be
the wild

living spirit
of this jungle

Francisco X. Alarcon, "Jaguar" from Animal Poems of the Iguazu. Copyright © 2008 by Francisco X. Alarcon.  Reprinted by permission of Lee & Low Books.
Source: Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Lew & Low Books, 2008)
More Poems by Francisco X. Alarcón