poem #50

neanderthal
 
NEANDERTHAL
 
I guess there’s a little bit in most of us—
some of us, more than others. It’s amazing
that a species so well hidden can be so exposed.
Millennial bones in a Belgian cave no longer garner dust:
thick browed remains of a race thought inferior escorted
to the laboratory, to test tubes, to centrifuge, to an ethereal 
network of electrons, and now, we have a larger map
of who we are, what we’ve become. We were like an ameba—
absorbing our genetics whenever we crossed paths. I like
the union of this, the liquid sense of it, the thought of 
somehow melding the many into one. So different from
tribal divisiveness, our obsession with differences. What
is this empire? Global domination? Religion? War? Are
we struggling with weapons and words to accomplish 
what came so naturally tens of thousand of years ago? Imagine 
those heavy bones still wrestling within our skin, a thick brow,
deep set eyes, skillful hands cleaving slivers of flint, 
a world of wood smoke and burning meat, the luxury of never having 
to do the dishes or to take out the trash. No wonder, I’m attracted
to tools and repetitive tasks. Secretly, I strive to activate
those last few genes, still hidden on that obscure chromosome. I
want to throw my smart-phone at a mastodon and make love
with those lovely homo sapiens.
 
– Bob Putnam
 
 
Bob Putnam is a writer and carpenter living near Charlottesville, Va. where he is a member of the WriterHouse writing community. His recent work has appeared in: Bare Hands, Emerge, SALT, and Epiphany Magazine.
 
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