Tropical Forest

In the Zoo of the Extinct

In the Carboniferous House
a pillar of gnats stands in the absence
of a prophet’s glance, dragonflies flirt
with forever amber. In the Herpeterium
Dimetrodon, under improvised sail,
duck-billed Hadrosaur, helmet-
headed Pachycephalosaur
show you don’t need brains to inherit the earth.
Gigantopithicus (9’ 600 lbs)
shows what the marsupials might have done.
(Jurassic shrews, amounting to nothing, wait their turn.)

In the Zoo of the Extinct, passenger
pigeon rises to no final gun,
the competition among grasses is suspended.
Unaware of the weathers in wait, fry
of Ichthyosaur people Wyoming seas,
amphibia skedaddle in imbricate surf.
Armorial skulls, shelled dead ends, the treasured
thumb, the oops, the overtaken, overcome
shelter this side of extinction’s brink.

In Noah’s Park, Latin remembrancers
name the 28 orders, Odysseus asks
last questions, panzers plan their vector.
At the Ice House a keeper sweeps,
his Edsel parked outside.

John Barr

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