CRO-MAGNON IN THE INTERGLACIAL
Old New England Saying: The
glaciers aren't gone; they just went back for more rocks.
The world is turning to water and warmth;
cliffs which came from as far as the memory went
Now soften, retreat, drip
and trickle, collapse with sullen roars;
The sun has seized the day, grown
strong and cruel to the ice,
And the sun's green things leap into the
breach in surges,
Fighting their own fights, grass against brush, trees
And even at night the world sleeps to the rustle and whisper
Of life's great rebellion as it joins the sun against the ice.
here at the beginning of a new age of not-winter
Cain dreams. And Abel is
nervous as Cain dreams.
Cain stares into the little fire of sticks and
And dreams it large, dreams it myriad,
Fires so large and so many
they consume the night,
Turn night to day and the season to not-winter
Cain stares at the forest marching
in against the ice
And dreams it changed, dreams it rearranged
stickbuilt lattices mounting to the sky to help
Turn night to day and the
season to not-winter forever.
Cain stares at the shiny glob melting from rock in fire
dreams it changed, dreams it shaped into
Fire forged tools and devices
against the ice to
Turn night to day and the season to not-winter forever.
Cain dreams, and Abel is nervous as Cain dreams
Not to mention
a little pissed
Since Cain is slacking even more than usual.
he asks, What's wrong, brother,
Cain looks at him like he'd
never seen him before.
Then says, I'm thinking, as if that
excused it all.
Abel knows better than to press, and goes about doing
What has to be done whether fairly shared or not.
But at night at the
fire, with the night pressing in,
Watching Cain wander off in his lostness
Asks again: Thinking what? Cain snaps back to
Angry at the interruption then, night all around, softens.
I'm dreaming, he says, of paradise on earth.
Abel stares for a moment, then looks down at the fire.
imagining a world that works for us.
Not knowing what to say, Abel
stares into the fire.
I see ways to so warm the world that the
ice will never return.
Abel understands that, looks up and
But Cain, staring into the fire, doesn't see the smile.
he doesn't see the receding ice contract to a kernel
Of coldness that comes
to lodge in his heart
As he lives out his dream of paradise, cold between
ice and ice.
Sibley, © 2005