After rereading one of my favorite books,
The Dinosaur Man by Susan Baur
He saw dinosaurs eating pumpkins
in the fields next to the institution,
the older man from the back ward,
for patients who can’t dress
or feed themselves, his descriptions
so vivid that the young psychiatrist
almost saw them herself.
His mind also made days
lasting thousands of years,
hid memories, drained all the goodness
out of himself and the world;
he died in agony over and over,
listening to his bones break.
He said he was a dinosaur himself,
the psychiatrist his dinosaur daughter;
they gardened in one of the fields;
he sang an old French lullaby
to the marigolds he transplanted.
Distraught when she had to leave,
he wondered if a dinosaur’s daughter
understood his disordered mind
might forget her
as though it had never happened.
He told her she’d been away for a billion years
when she came back months later to visit,
said he’d forgotten everything,
everything they’d talked about,
everything but the love.