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Keep your face to the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you. -- Walt Whitman

Grotto of Peche Merle by Roberta Feins

The causse is dry & oaky,
                                 Stone-age painted caves beneath.
 
We wait above ground in front of steel gates
protecting the darkness. Ahead in line
 
a newborn, soft head wisped with copper hair,
                                 nuzzles at her father’s chest.
 
At the bottom of the stairs
the walls are limned
 
with aurochs, reindeer, dots,
                                 arrows, stenciled handprints.
 
Red ochre ground from rock,
charcoal, ash - powdered,
                       mixed with rendered fat,
blown or brushed.
 
Pierced by a red arrow,
                       Sorcerer, engorged,
falls stiffly backward.
 
Enormous breasts define
                       Women’s magical names
 
the way black lines of haunch,
                       smudged curve of ear
define a horse.
 
                       There are horses
sleeping in the rock,
not yet coaxed forth by pigment.
 
Hanging   from the ceiling,
Roots explore the air
                       seeking purchase
 
on ground below.  

The Linnets Wings