8. Extinction

Brenda Cooper


Dinosaurs live in museums
in rock, in plaster casts,
in drawings. They hang
from ropes like large
marionettes that we never
had a chance to touch.

Volcanoes spewed ash
over the ammonites, the
mosasaurs and the plesiosaurs.
Somewhere near the end,
an asteroid.

Black rhinos live in museums
with frogs, passenger pigeons,
stuffed saber-toothed tigers strut
across concrete branches.
These, all of these, we speared
and feared and ate.

We are the asteroid.

Brenda Cooper currently resides in Woodinville, WA, and writes science fiction, fantasy, poetry, and non-fiction. Her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons and in The Salal Review. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld and in multiple anthologies. Her most recent novel is Spear of Light (Pyr, June 2016). To learn more about Brenda and her work, please visit www.Brenda-cooper.com

Editors Notes on “Extinction”: Whenever dinosaurs and asteroids are combined, I promise you’ll have a captive audience among the young ones, but also among the older generation, which I can testify personally. The split image of an artist conception of an asteroid collision leading planet formation near star NGC 2547-ID8 is also reminiscent of the meteor impact in the Yucatán Peninsula that contributed to the dinosaur extinction. In the lower panel, the fossilized remains of the mesosaurus are shown (distinct from mosasaurs).

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