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Monday, August 27, 2018


by T R Poulson

Once upon a time, two early humans of different ancestry met at a cave in Russia. Some 50,000 years later, scientists have confirmed that they had a daughter together. DNA extracted from bone fragments found in the cave show the girl was the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. The discovery, reported in Nature, gives a rare insight into the lives of our closest ancient human relatives.Neanderthals and Denisovans were humans like us, but belonged to different species. —BBC, August 22, 2018

This at last is bone of my bones
—Genesis 2:23

The wind blows, brittle as a bird bone needle
in this cave where skeletons dance in layers,
time folds in eons, and we seek the seed, dull
as the Beginning, a stone bracelet our prayer
to grandfathers unknown. It must have begun
with fire, the flames that made flesh tender,
laid bare the bones of beasts, broken, undone,
crying. The flames that twisted up like slender
ribbons, teasing, heating. Here, a strange man
enters, here a woman’s bones turn away a suitor
like her, here bone meets bone. Here, the clan—

Genes spiral, twist, through bones, as computers
tell of fire, of seed. We see an orphan long bone
splinter. We see ourselves, unmixed, alone.

T R Poulson, a University of Nevada, Reno alum, lives in San Carlos, California. Her work has appeared previously in TheNewVerse.News, as well as Rattle’s Poets Respond, Verdad, The Meadow, Trajectory, J Journal, and others.