Twelve Hours

by colleen spiders (2022-04-02)

The strata speak of ebb and flow,
Three hundred million years ago.
A single line within the rock,
Twelve hours on this stony clock.

And as we look, our mind must play;
What happened on that long-lost day?
When tide rolled in to drop their sand,
And rest twelve hours on ancient land?

Did sunlight tickle scaly skin?
Or was it moonlight, cold and thin?
And who was mourned, and hatchlings born?
In summer calm, or winter storm?

What fleeting thoughts ancestral minds
Mulled over in that half-day’s time?
What long-forgotten cultures lived?
What games were played by synapsids?

While Panthalassa slept ashore,
Did heartbreak shake a reptile’s core?
Perhaps amphibians sung songs,
As golden light cast shadows long?

This ferny flash of weal and woe,
Three hundred million years ago,
Is hinted by (but written not)
Twelve hours' tide, told by the rock.