For Archeologists

By Margarete Atwood

Deep under, far back

The early horses run

O rock/ the buffalo, the deer

The other animals (extinct)

Run with spears in their backs

Made with blood, with colored

Dirt, with smoke, not meant

To be seen but to remain

There hidden, potent

In the dark, the link between

The buried will and the upper

World of sun and green feeding,

Chase and hungry kill

drawn by a hand hard

Even to imagine

but passed on

In us, part of us now

Part of the structure of the bones

existing still in us

As fossil skulls

Of the bear, spearheads, bowls and

Folded skeletons arranged

In ritual patterns, waiting

For the patient searcher to find them

exist in caves of the earth.

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