Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mesozoic Mama

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I know dinosaurs.
They reappeared on Earth
in 1990. The first ones
were conjured by Vitsie,
the Video Friend.

You sang "Terrible lizards for the town!"
with gusto and command,
one arm raised like a little Mussolini
in blue pajamas with a zipper
and plastic feet.

You worked laborious names
over your lips: Brachiosaurus,
Archaeopteryx, Stegosaurus,
Tyrannosaurus Rex,
all deadly heroes of small boys.

Dinosaurs crept
out of the Mesozoic Era,
snuck under Christmas trees.
They piled into birthday presents,
glared beady-eyed
from grandparents' pockets.

They roared in tinny voices,
and snorted smoke,
took halting Frankenstein steps
before tumbling to the carpet.
Some were just squishy friends
for hugging. Others managed
to paint themselves onto sheets,
quilts and curtains.

They even spilled
into your cereal bowl,
or flickered on screens,
telling cautionary tales
of here and gone, intoning
like wise old African griots.

It was a prehistoric zoo.

In 1994 they Darwined
into movie monsters.
It was adaptation.
The age of technology.
What else could they do?

They were destined
for bigger things:
major motion pictures
and truck-sized footprints
in the Walk of Fame,
and smaller things: stories
whisper-giggled at bedtime.
(Godzilla on a spaceship.
With you! With special powers!
Flight! Shield of Invisibility!)

We still don't understand extinction.
A comet or some other cataclysm
made dinos pop out of the world,
disappearing into a geological magic hat.

In my house they just trudged
into toy boxes and closets
to await another Rite of Spring.

Shara Faskowitz is a writer and editor living in Maine. She has proudly survived almost 18 years of parenting Victor, age 17, and Rachael, age 13. They are both geniuses and gorgeous, and are also the owners of many obsolete soon-to-be collectibles, including 42,000 plastic dinosaurs. Shara moonlights as a starving poet, and her work has appeared on the web and in print publications such as Exquisite Corpse, A Small Garlic Press, Erosha, and Thieves Jargon.

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