The pterosaur: a parasol, folded
up & broken, aerial assay
of will & bone flung,
neck-twist & the winged
arms sprawled, flail of hinged legs, Icarus
of the reptile-kind, prince of fallen angles
whose knife-limbs scissor-sever air's weft
till stunned by their own up
-ending, their precipitous
jagged bending, arms/legs jarred hard in one
jammed pose: the wadded-yarn tangle of chest
with beak, a balled-up being who cannot speak, faint
trace of last flight-flutter, once-elegant arcs
now piled flesh
over bones, a final tossed-off
indecorous heap, selvage of self the stone will keep. O!
to be one's own unfurled I, savage and wind-wild forever!
Note: In 1828 early paleontologist Mary Anning discovered the first pterosaur found in Britain. Although the term "pterodactyl" still lives in the popular imagination, "pterosaur" has come to be the accepted term for all members of this winged, reptilian fossil group. In Anning's day, "pterosaur" had not been coined.