I wanted to write a poem dedicated to Eurypterids, the prehistoric predator also known as sea scorpions.
Fear is a Eurypterid
by H. Bradford
Fear is a eurypterid.
It is the horror of claws and spindly limbs, coded into our DNA
It is epigenetic trauma that crawled out of the sea on the fins of fearful fish.
They turned terrestrial to escape it.
So now we shiver at the sight of spiders and scorpions.
The archetype of arachnophobia is inborn.
Our phobias are Paleozoic.
Our maladies never truly vanished from Mesozoic seas.
Fear is a package, delivered through time in the bodies of fish, frogs, and apes.
Fear is the eurypterid who hunted long ago,
and we’ve been haunted ever since.
A 1910 painting of eurypterids by Charles Knight