by Bruce Boston and Roger Dutcher
A great leathery bird circles over
the red tiled rooftops of Pasadena.
Herds of horses no bigger than sheep
stampede across the Serengeti Plain.
A giant man-eating tiger, with teeth
like scimitars, rampages through
the villages northeast of Maradabad.
Scientists at first scoff at reports
such as these, yet sightings taken as
hallucinogenic flights of fancy soon
become realities too numerous to deny:
the appearance of species long extinct.
The tabloid press has a field day:
"TRILOBITES CLOG TUNA NETS!"
"TUCSON: GIANT GROUND SLOTHS!!"
"T. REX ALIVE AND WELL!!!"
Droves of the flightless dodo invade
and amble through St. Peter's Square,
driving away the faithful, fouling
the flagstones, far outdrawing
the Pope as a tourist attraction.
And finally, as an extension of history
in reverse gear, our own progenitors
--Ardipithecus, Austrolopithecus --
materialize in increasing numbers.
Hirsute and filthy, they wander down
from the hills to prowl our cities,
to invade our finest malls and shatter
plate glass windows, to crouch on our
fenders and fiercely pummel our hoods.
And although we slaughter them by
the hundreds, their grunts and cries
of rage continue to fill our streets,
to haunt our nights, confirming what
we should have realized all along.
Nature does have a sense of humor.
She is a jester dark and wild.
And having violated her more
than once too often, we have now
become the objects of her mirth.
Appeared in Figment
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