The Next Fire Age, Re-write

With many thanks to Susan Daniels for help on the ending--


Did the theropods see it coming, that
Mesozoic meteor, hell-bending
to earth?  Did they see it coming and stare,
as powerless to stop it as we are
apparently powerless to stop this
planetoid that our gods have given us?

Did the thieving omnivores upon all
fours go scurrying for useless shelter
and die with the eggs of their predators
poaching on their pre-mammalian tongues?

Did the pteranodons’ leathery wings
burst from their airy bones, crackling like
a shower of sparks after fireworks--like
fading applause after the last encore?

Did brontosaurs and ceratopsians
bloat and rupture in that searing furnace
or simply fall over into the mud,
resting like the roast on the carving board?

Is that how some distantly descended
denizen of our dark corners will find
us, with the dry grass of history burned
to ash in our mouths, or will they find just
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
clenched between our glassy, fossilized jaws?

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