On the Movements of Bodies by Rosemary Badcoe

On the Movements of Bodies

About the time that Newton wrote Principia
and every spinning object settled down
to orbit in its newly designated way

the dodo died. Some pig or dog or crab-eating
macaque scoffed the last surviving egg.
The hatchling would have waddled up to watch

had Isaac shown with diagrams and pantomime
how its sternum lacked the strength to let it nest
above the scrub, that gravity would grasp its bones

and dislocate the stubby wings, suck
the last remaining bulbous beak into the swamp
where motion’s laws hold evolution, paused.

by Rosemary Badcoe

Editor’s Note: This poem marries science with art, leading to one of the inescapable truths of life—death (extinction) happens.