- to free from confinement, danger, or evil;
- formally meaning to save and deliver anything from a dangerous and distressing situation. As in baby Jessica who fell through an 8-inch wide abandoned well and tumbled 22 feet. As in flight 1549 that hit a flock of geese, lost engine power, and crash-landed in the Hudson River (the birds, of course, died). As in the 7 survivors found floating in a dinghy after their ferry sank in the Pacific Ocean. As in the 13 siblings emaciated and held captive in their parents’ filthy home. As in shackled to beds with padlocks, stunted, tortured, feared to never see the sun. As in Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros, captured in 1975 by Chipperfield’s Circus at the age of two, shipped to a zoo, and later relocated to a conservatory in Kenya, where he lives peacefully. As in the Gray Wolf listed & delisted & listed & delisted & killed & killed & killed & listed & delisted & listed as an endangered species. As in 6 of 150+ beached whales in Hameline Bay that returned to the sea. As in the cleanup after the oil spill of Amoco Cadiz in 1978, Pemex in 1979, Atlantic Empress in 1979, Nowruz Field in 1983, Castillo de Bellver in 1983, Exxon Valdez in 1989, ABT Summer in 1991, MT Haven in 1991, BP’s Deepwater Horizon in 2010, Keystone XL Pipeline in 2017. As in whooping cranes sliding out of the horizon—their migration a black wavering line in the sky. As in the sun on prairie tall-grass, the solitary wolf on Isle Royale howling, the limiting conditions within which we live.
 Responders found carcasses of more than 35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters, which was considered to be a fraction of the animal death toll because carcasses typically sink to the seabed. It’s estimated 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales died along with billions of salmon and herring eggs.
Crystal S. Gibbins is the author of NOW/HERE (Holy Cow! Press) and editor of Split Rock Review. Her work has appeared in Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Minnesota Review, Prairie Schooner, and Verse Daily. She lives on the south shore of Lake Superior in Washburn, Wisconsin. www.crystalgibbins.com