New Dinosaur Looks Like Odd Mix of Duck, Croc, Ostrich, Swan
—The Associated Press, 2017

Because when you know what it feels like
after 20 years of marriage and a split so loud
it nearly left you deaf and blind, to lie supine
on the floor of the house you rent in your own name
with the doors open for the cats to come and go
so you can just lie there and stare, sock-eyed,
at the fruit flies floating above the unpicked grapes
in the late afternoon sun, bewildered, spent,
and all but bleeding, your senses—after you crawl
slowly back from that edge, blunder around
for a few years with online dating, journaling,
painting classes, tentative solo hiking excursions,
road trips, and movie nights—are more acutely attuned
to news of the discovery of an entirely new species
of dinosaur. That such a new animal should be possible
at this late date is both thrilling and affirming,
your having recently become one yourself

Because once you’ve felt the shock of vulnerability
induced by suddenly living alone, dangling
out there with no safety net, no second opinion,
no other, and having to—certainly more than you
ever thought you’d need to—rely on the goodness
of strangers, determine who’s trying to play you,
consider the company of unruly bands of divorcees,
quavering cat lady types, crusty old hermits, hot young
admirers, similarly searching souls, hippies, and straight-out
bad guys—most of whom, save the bad guys, so fascinated
you that you waded in a little too deep sometimes—
you start to shift your weight, backward, into your heels,
like hitting moguls, and you relax into the unfathomably
complex and numerous combinations that exist in people
and their potential for good, for evil, for strangeness, pain,
and blissful ignorance, and the existence of an animal
whose full curled-up skeleton flummoxed the Czechs,
the Poles, the Minnesotans, the French Synchrotron
and the Italians with its duck bill, croc teeth, swan neck,
killer claws, penguin flippers and ostrich walk, doesn’t
surprise you one whit, though you agree with the paleontologist
from Minnesota who calls it a “pretty crazy chimera,”
because you think you may have just met one of those.

And when after years in a desert of your own making
you are shocked to find one evening that not only
do you love this new person in your life, but that you
are actually in love with him and awed by the seemingly
impossible trajectory both of your lives had to take
for you to notice, admire, connect with, discover, accept,
embrace, and recognize him and his utterly unexpected
yet self-prescribed array of attributes, quirks, talents,
history, perspectives, and interests as just exactly
what you’ve been looking for—even though at first
you’re as skeptical of your find as the Italian scientist
was of the smuggled Mongolian rock that bore the fossil—
the slow, sweet, consistent, loving presence of this beautiful
man makes the discovery of this strange and wonderful
new animal feel just like love.

About the Author: Kristy Gledhill

Kristy Gledhill is a freelance writer and poet living in Gig Harbor, Washington. Currently an MFA student of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, Kristy has always felt compelled to feel her way to and through the images and ideas that help her (and others) understand what we’re all doing here. She married the new animal featured in this poem two years ago and is in the process of living happily ever after.

Photo credit of Author: Dean Davis (PicturesOfPoets.Com)

Inspiration for this Poem: New dinosaur looks like odd mix of duck, croc, ostrich, swan

Article Image by Lukas Panzarin via the AP