“Anthropogenic” – Poetry by M.A. Schaffner

Pterodactyl Reconstruction - Edward Newman, 1843
Pterodactyl Reconstruction – Edward Newman, 1843

Pterodactyls were not marsupials, as scientist Edward Newman once theorized. But we like imagining them as prehistoric mall-rats whenever we read “Anthropogenic,” one of four poems by M.A. Schaffner from our Winter 2015 issue.

{ X }

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN PTERODACTYLS FLEW
around the atrium through the fountain
that spurted up three storeys in the mall.

This shows it was never about just shopping
but the seafood crisis and thermal drafts
emanating from the first floor food court.

No, I can’t imagine what it felt then,
torn from oceanic vistas and plains
as vast as half the planet, as the roads

that tie one outlet plaza to the next
in a necklace of the world’s great wonders
then hung around its winged serpent’s neck.

Our own necks swell each day.  Our collars shrink
to match the slow contraction of the time
allowed for empty spaces on the maps.

{ X }

M. A. SchaffnerM.A. SCHAFFNER has had poems published inShenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Poetry Ireland,Poetry Wales, and elsewhere. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.

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