My Past Life as a Dinosaur

Elizabeth Knapp

for Gus 

 

Naturally, I was an herbivore, one of the gentle giants with four or more hearts and a placid expression I carried even to the end. I spent most of my time grazing treetops—redwoods, pines, yews—anything I could reach, and I cared for my young the way any good sauropod would—by leaving them where they hatched and letting them fend for themselves (the original tough love parenting). The gastroliths in my gizzard churned something fierce, but I didn’t mind, because the air up there was so much cleaner. I breathed it in through the top of my head, and when the sky lit up like an electric fence, I didn’t flinch, knowing I would come back one day as a superhero. 

 

 

Elizabeth Knapp is the author of The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. The recipient of awards from Literal Latté and Iron Horse Literary Review, she has published poems in Best New PoetsThe Massachusetts Review, Mid-American ReviewSpoon River Poetry Review, and many other journals. She teaches at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.