An online article revealed
how a lineage of birds
survived an asteroid
66 million years ago,
when many went extinct
with the ponderous dinosaurs.
They choked on volcanic dust,
dragged their limp tails
along the Cretaceous plain,
withered in flames or acid rain
and shockwaves of ice.

The reason some escaped
was the bird brain—
the one we find amusing
when a song sparrow spars
with its reflection in a window—
the modern bird cerebrum,
a mosaic of quick response
molded to change over time
to prompt agile flight
in a flash of feathers,
before the sky crashes down.

And I wonder whether humans
are similarly evolving,
or doomed to choke on iron
or shrivel when oceans boil
and flood shores from pole to pole.
There is only so much
our big fat brains can do
while many of us are stranded
on a plain of ignorance and doubt
with no wings to pull away
when the next one hits.

Donna M. Davis lives in central New York. Her work has appeared in four SCARS anthologies and six Slipstream Review anthologies, Raw Art Review, Comstock Review, Down in the Dirt, Stoneboat, Third Wednesday, Pudding, Ilya’s Honey, Muddy River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Homestead Review, The RavensPerch, and others.