Before Men Descended from the Trees to Walk across the Grassy Plains

Before there was a grassy plain for men to walk across, before the air
Was what it is, and before the ground was altogether firm, while dark
Clouds held the sun from viewers who were not there, and while the
Young Earth gloated on its newness, fresh from eons of celestial rest,
Or toil, or both, or neither, or whatever may have been the case out
There back then, when lightening seldom stopped lighting what might
Otherwise have been the darkness which it would not let happen over
That primordial puddle, however deep or shallow, or narrow, or wide,
Where first congealed those elements about to chose whether to embark
On life or just stay mud forever:

Had I been there
(And we all were),

I wonder whether I would not have chosen to be mud again

Except for these wings that I struggle to give flight to.


  by Robert Hampton Burt