I WAKE TO THE SOUND OF DINOSAURS
skirmishing outside my window.
Drawn by water, they shriek and call,
bluffing their way to the small oasis
ringed by ferns and conifers
in my back yard.
Some wade in to their bellies.
Others pause at water’s edge on two legs,
bending at the hip to drink.
Their talons gleam in the morning light.
Their bodies glimmer with countless reflections
of the nearby star that warms them.
Not at all the drab monsters
of my childhood textbooks,
they throb with color—sapphire,
fuchsia, chartreuse—brighter, even,
than the plastic dinos I played with as a child.
All wrong, the texts implied,
glowed my toys’ auroral hues.
Sheer fancy, for paleontologists
had not yet imagined an extravagance
of pigmentation in the Mesozoic era,
nor did they believe
the great beasts warmed themselves
with their own blood, that they ran
and fed with tails outstretched for balance,
nor that one spectacular morning
they simply rose up
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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