At the Natural History Museum

Pinned upon a board
as if they are in midflight

or still for a second
alighting on a broad leaf,

creatures born for flight,
trapped in a glass case

until they are discarded,
consigned to the dark

of some storage basement
for newer more exotic

and colorful specimens.
Only those now extinct

remain upon display,
valued for their rarity,

their colors dimming
through the years,

a final testament
to their transience.

Appeared in Analog