Before I Was Born
by Steven Utley


They eulogized me,
four hundred million years
before I was born,
as the expedition’s
first casualty -- victim,
it appeared, of a
theretofore unknown,
unsuspected condition:
an anomaly
existing inside
another anomaly:
a hole in a hole.
Whatever it was,
I didn’t see it coming,
never felt a thing;
there were no remains,
just particles (they reasoned)
scattered along some
space-time axis around which
Now and Then rotate.
Though I knew no more
science than your average
accountant -- I was
a business-school
graduate, come to count beans! --
they called me “martyr
to science” and gave
me footnotes in books hardly
anybody read.
Yes, and four hundred
million years ago they
carved my name in stone
that weathered away
in no time at all, long
before I was born.



About the Author:

Steven Utley, a founding member of Texas' Turkey City writers group in the 1970s, is the co-editor (with Geo. W. Proctor) of an anthology of fiction by Texans, Lone Star Universe (Heidelberg Publishers, 1976), and the author of Ghost Seas (Ticonderoga Publications, 1997), The Beasts of Love (Wheatland Press, 2005), Where or When (forthcoming from PS Publishing [UK]), the perennially soon-to-be-finished Silurian Tales, and two volumes of verse, This Impatient Ape (1998) and Career Moves of the Gods (2000), both published by Anamnesis Press.



Poem © 2004 Steven Utley.  This poem first appeared in Dark Moon Rising, 2004.