Petrified Creature



I was a visionary child—dogwood flowers laced my woods,
and friendly white-tailed deer carved the paths I followed
between colonnades of oaks. It was an age of expeditions,
and I often unearthed gritty fossils until the half-moon
tips of my nails became black with dirt. Then, I would return
home, bearing handfuls of ancient columnal crinoid segments
preserved in the brittle gray stone I found on the dusty shelves
of bluffs by the lake. These were my grand discoveries
from Paleozoic-age rocks, and I decided I would become
a regular Charles Darwin. The world was open, and I was free!
I would travel deep within the Amazon and climb
Everest without losing my breath. I did not imagine
what I imagine now as I hold the scratched wooden box
of earth’s remains open upon my lap and run my finger across
the cool, ribbed joints of some quiet, petrified creature.


Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BA in creative writing. She loves books.