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Primitive Nights


Rusty Broadspear

Flames played shadows on the craggy, jagged walls,

Huge human silhouettes ducked, flitted and dived.

Sparks spat in unison with dripping fat balls.

Outside was below freezing; they always survived.

Animal skins littered the floor and hung above the fire.

Polished bone tools of all sizes were scattered.

Two men slept, two others hoisted the skins higher.

A child made axe heads and nothing else mattered.

The stench of drying skins, as thick as a stagnant pond,

Was unnoticed. The woman placed meat onto the flames.

A man grunted angrily, kicking the meat away; she didn't respond.

She helped the child, they were close, but had no claims.

The sleeping men woke, wittering in high and low pitch,

Swapping places with the other two who were soon asleep.

One man squealed at the woman; she stood, didn't even twitch,

Placing the meat on the flames, her foot pushed it down deep.

Outside the cave, night beasts, gathered in charcoal night,

Eyes burning ominously bright like hovering fire flies.

At dawn they'll be the hunted having already took flight.

Motionless, frozen, unaffected by creepy night cries.

Before dawn the woman was the only occupant of the cave.

The skins laid outside awaiting the brush of the morning Sun.

Bringing wood from near the entrance, for the dying fire, to save

Heat for the meat, the men would bring, when their hunting was done.

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