The Hills Had Caves

indians lived in those caves
out behind the farmhouse,
their artifacts trickle out
with each new generation
exploring the cool dark,
carrying big sticks &
fierce imaginations
on their bear hunts

timid beasts,
those black bears,
bold only for the brief run
of salmon berry
down along the creek

one winter the snow melted
and then froze again,
leaving a face on the side
of the cliff.
was it a woman?
did she lay down those arrowheads
and lay, like i did,
across those great round rocks,
the moss a foot deep
that sweet smell only the way
moss can smell,
and dream
of being fierce?

© Adrienne Veronese

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