Richard Fein

Mass Extinction

Her eyes have turned from green to brown
this Tyrannosaurus-Rex among the dying grasses.
She, she must be a she
for by now the male of her life
has passed through her, and has been exuded
with the egg case.
A last supper, a sharing of food,
a passing of one's being into the bowels of another.
And now the fall wind
chills all creatures to stillness,
so her viselike, claw-legs open and close
ever more slowly
The time of sacrifices, of preordained altruism
has ended.
Here her shell will remain through the winter,
for even the ants have sheltered themselves deep.
But come next spring the rising grass tips
will spear the fragments of her and resurrect
the ruins of her body.
A dangling monument until once more
the society of ants dares emerge
and haul down this last season's flag
and pass her final remains among themselves.


The 2River View, 4.2 (Winter 2000)