The Trilobite by Indira Sinton 

 

It stares

from primordial goop and sludge,

its Palaeozoic place.

 

500 million years have passed;

the image remains,

small,

distinct,

pressed to the earth’s soft bone.

 

It’s a message perhaps -

natures photograph.

 

The Trilobite stands still.

 

Touch,

trace

its three lobed body

and the ridges of its shell.

 

Press your hand

to the protrusion of its brain.

 

What did the creature understand?

 

Hunger,

pleasure,

darkness,

light.

 

Could it sense the cosmic secrets

of churning Cambrian seas?

 

Perhaps, in some instinctive way.

 

As you ask such questions,

reverence the stone.

 

It is a tomb

and tells of a spirit -

ancient and precious,

fleeting,

and permanent.

 

Author’s note:  The province of Ontario in eastern Canada holds the richest and oldest fossil records in North America.  Impressions of creatures such as the Trilobite which existed across the earth for several hundred million years are beautifully preserved. These Trilobite fossils can be found in the Collingwood region, particularly the area known as the Collingwood Shales.
 

Copyright ©1999 Indira Sinton

Originally published in Georgian Bay Today.