O Crustacean

Chitinous cousin to our hemichordate memories
remind us of our intimate
cellular closeness to every other cell,

our own pasts rendered into fibrous hues of keratin,
our hostile distance carefully composed in
anodyne gesture-armored courtesy.

Scales. Horn. Pre-cancerous
connection to the first
aggressive cellular mutation.

It is time we were made aware of our state
in the great microbial condition.
It is time we meet some antecedents:

Old Dogs from ancienter pasts.
Opabinia, far-and-near sighted.
Dvinia, small, Earth-sheltered.

A new trick every epoch or so.

Tricks for the next Big Event.
Opposable thumb, binocular vision.
Then the same old Extinction again.

Life roars.
Earth yawns.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.