Susan Richardson – Phorusrhacidae


This is not a guillemot
bobbing in the froth of our dreams
or a mallard dabbling in shallow water
for our shoots and seeds.
This is not a jay storing our acorn-mistakes
for future gorging, or a great grey owl braced
        for the   twitch
of lemming beneath our snow.
No. And this isn’t a fossil:
scientists who hypothesise –
flightless…exceeded two metres in height –
should unfledge their computer models and edge
into the light, where a beak slashes open
the belly of sleep, rips
the flesh from our skittish pledges,
crushes smug bones and scythes
the scrub as it hunts
our mammal logic.
Futile to assume we can outpace it.
Useless to play dead.
Too late to plead now it copulates
              with greed, exchanges
gifts of shifted blame
and squats on top of our world, coercing
it to          crack.
Susan Richardson: I am a Wales-based poet, performer and educator whose third collection, skindancing, themed around human-animal metamorphosis and our dys/functional relationship with the wild, will be published by Cinnamon Press next year. I am currently poet-in-residence with the Marine Conservation Society.
twitter – @susanpoet

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