Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It’s Ok, You Couldn’t Have Known

It’s Ok, You Couldn’t Have Known

First the baby T. Rex, little guy,
raising his head to look around
Dinosaur Hall, and then at you.
He’s only two. Can’t know where
he is, who he could have been.
The teenager and the momma
Tyrannosaurus rouse next,
shake their heads like wet dogs.
Steel poles bend and snap,
and the bones move, bodies
again. Here comes Stegosaurus,
cantering along the tiled floor,
creaking when he stops (out
of habit) for a breather. Quilts
of prehistoric dust unfold
above you. Nothing is on fire.
Dino Hall is quiet, save for
bone on bone, bone on tile,
bone clattering against the
walls. No alarms. Allosaurus
skidding by, eying Spike.
No, you aren’t safe. But where
are you going to go, when
the dinosaurs wake up. Poor
things don’t know they aren’t
dinosaurs anymore, that
they’re full of holes, that outside
these walls they will not know
where the land they once slept on
went, where the world has gone.


  1. I love this, Hannah; perhaps because my son was so fascinated by dinosaurs and at one point when still in preschool could recite facts about them and spell hundreds of their names. I especially like what you evoke in "Dino Hall is quiet, save for / bone on bone, bone on tile, bone clattering against the / walls." While visiting the Smithsonian downtown, I've often let my imagination fly to thinking about the beasts waking up and roaming the world again. And I think implicit in your poem is the sense that we, too, are the beasts, one day we, too, will be on display to behold, to wonder about, to ask what happened.

  2. It's like "Night at the Museum" with a strange "Sixth Sense" twist. I suppose the movie version should star Bren Stiller-Willis.

  3. Oh, what fun. And also I am feeling for the dinosaurs!!

  4. This was so good. Maureen already quoted one of the many awesome lines. Slant rhyme made this stand out:

    "Allosaurus/skidding by, eying Spike."

    Well done!


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