by Dustin Pickering

Young, my clever mind like stones
and imprisoned moments in time:
my friend’s father was a paleontologist,
a word not too large for me at age 10.

He showed me this oddity from a dig
his father helped conduct.
It was a trilobite fossil–
something the dust may have missed,

but left for hands to uncover.
As it was found after millennia,
I too found it recently in a box
filled with bags of old rocks.

Yes, I collected rocks:
I even created a filing box for them
at age 13. Some thought I was a show-off.
I took the old fossil, large and mud-colored,

from the bag, remembering I thought
about this same fossil for years.
I remembered when Joshua gave it to me.
He said, “I thought it would cheer you up.”

It made me smile in a remarkable way
to remember both the fossil,
and the lost friend I found again
in my memories, in my memories.

IMAGE: An Ordovician trilobite Ogygiocarella from Wales, approximately 460 million years old. (SOURCE: The Natural History Museum, London. More info here.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dustin Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a Houston based publishing company. He is author of Salt and Sorrow, published by Chitrangi Publishers in India. He is published in Texas Poetry Calendar 2016, Cavalcade of Stars, Pyrokinection, Dead Snakes, and others.