The Second Scientific Revolution: A Poem by Taylor Franson-Thiel

Fake dinosaur skeleton
Photo by Taylor Franson-Thiel

The Second Scientific Revolution

In another life     I blow dirt off dinosaur bones
and name my new     discovery after my daughter.
Before it can be logged     and sent off for future research
I sneak a fossiled claw     home to show her.
She takes it devoutly     in her hands
still fleshed with     baby fat, you’d almost
think she had no     bones, and she takes the
tip, traces a line     from my collar bone
down to my navel     laughing as it snags my shirt.
Her little body warm with     delight in my lap.
She doesn’t yet know     the words theropod
dangerous or daughter.     In this other life,
I am a good mother.     I teach her the names
of each dino as she     points to them in a picture book.
This one is a velociraptor     I say. Normally,
they like to hunt alone.     Their mothers stayed
with them only long enough to     make sure they could run.
My daughter has just     barely learned to walk.
When she is older     I will tell her
how I gave something     ancient her name.
The next day     I return the talon
And it’s like     it was never missing,
Like I have never     mishandled a specimen,
Like I have never     mishandled my daughter.

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