Hannah Stephenson

Hannah Stephenson is a poet, editor, and instructor living in Columbus, Ohio. Her poems have appeared recently in Huffington Post, Contrary, MAYDAY, qarrtsiluni, and The Nervous Breakdown; her full-length collection, "In the Kettle", the Shriek, is forthcoming from Gold Wake Press (2013). She is the founder of Paging Columbus!, a literary arts monthly event series. You can visit her daily poetry site, The Storialist (www.thestorialist.com).

Living Among Us

The former tenants of this planet
left behind housewarming gifts:
blueprints for birds and alligators.

Dinosaurs should get credit for more
creatures, house cats, stick bugs,
the Loch Ness monster, armadillos.

If every living thing is the result
of what existed and perished before it,
how can we not see dinosaurs

living among us, leashed and barking
in front yards, building nests in vowels
of grocery store signs, driving hybrids

on the freeway. All of us can go away,
that is the truth lurking in the bones
we hang and frame on museum walls.

We make the dinosaurs names now,
but how were they known to each other.
When it all ended, what did they feel,

what did they see. How high is the pain
threshold of a dinosaur. Did they know
that theirs was an extraordinary ending,

communal, or did they each slip from
consciousness, privately processing
the individual calamity of being stopped.

Did they look up at the asteroid hurtling
toward them, or watch as debris blocked
out all light around them. Did they stare,

like those baby alpacas I pass every day,
standing in grass, craning their necks
so that they can gaze up into the rain.

photo by: Jeff Kubina