They used to teach that colour would never be detected in fossils.
But now it’s someone’s job to reveal the complexions
of dinosaurs, to unravel the hints about hues,
examining melanosomes and spherical organelles,
to conclude that, ‘You don’t have an orange and white tail
for nothing’. It’s someone’s job to pore over fossilised
forearms looking for the trace of quill knobs
or to separate spiral twists of fibres to analyse Jurassic
dandruff and to tell us with authority that these creatures
shed their skin in flakes. I wish I’d studied palaeontology
instead of forensic psychology. Primitive plumage
interests me more than psychopathy and the science
of empathy ever could.
Spangle McQueen is a happy grandma and hopeful poet living in Sheffield.