After her lover’s ship had left?
The cave drawing – especially if mixed with fat
Or blood or egg – can last an ice age and through
Another ten thousand years of summer rains
And endless winter nights.
But as soon as people pay attention to the drawing
It begins to fade, as if it were the
Attention itself that rubbed the paintings dim.
Painted with ash, they return to dust
Just by the power of observation.
Fifteen thousand years ago, an artist
Touched these stony walls and by
Torchlight sketched this herd of bison
Thundering across a primal imagination.
The wonder it inspires has lasted
Deep in the caves that lie unexplored in all of us.