Unearthed

by William Hoover

Did a dinosaur, long after the ash and dust
Had settled from the volcano, meteor, whatever—
Ever come back, dressed in unfamiliar clothes,
And taking the pick of remembrance,
Dig down into the stratified past,
And finding his old bones lying in a forgotten nook,
Dust off, perhaps, a femur or a rib,
And standing there, cradling that relic of himself,
Feel a long-sealed vial of images implode softly in his brain:
The ancient tree trunks spearing morning light,
The beaten paths between the dripping ferns,
The secret pools walled in with febrile green—
And then ache, ache! with all the grief
Sudden extinction had not suffered to ripen,
Ache with unvented pain deep in his soul,
Just as I do, as I stand in this quiet room,
Gripping a plastic folder
And mourning a fiery extinction so big
That even now the tears refuse to rise?


William Hoover

There being no law against it, William Hoover finds deep beauty and pleasure in both mathematics and poetry, chess and classics, Excel spreadsheets and clever advertisements, science and sunrises.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy