“Neolithic Burial” by Tim Myers

Tim Myers


When he died they hunched him up
like baby in womb, curled him
into a shallow scoop in the cave-floor,
planted him like a seed as he slowly stiffened,
covering his slumped and earthen limbs
with a layer of red ochre,
sprinkling him with wildflowers—
then turned away.

Moon comes back each month, so bright,
then curls itself into a dying crescent—
baby struggles out of a woman’s darkness—
petals of delicate blue, pale yellow, in the wet woods,
how do they know
when sun is past dying and comes
to life again?

This is older than cities or books,
older than prayers or earnest discussions,
older than farming,
something buried and burst open
long before words, ideas, church or temple or crudest holy place,
older even than itself,

this longing.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004

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