I walk the mile long trail down into the depths,
caliche, gravel, larger rocks strewn by millennia.
The ancients–Clovis, Folsom, Portales
Man–hunted here at the shores of a lake
nearly 12,000 years ago. In 1929, an amateur
archeologist discovered a spear point lodged in bone.
Scattered cottonwoods whisper in the wind,
timeless voices call me, beckoning.
Who were these people? What did they
look like? Where did they come
from? In whose gods, goddesses, did
they believe? Doubtless hunger
drove them to this place of water
and plenty. Columbia mammoths, giant
sloths, dire wolves, saber toothed cats.
I walk this long path, read signs
that tell what diggers found at specific
spots along the trail: bison horns
spanning seven feet, mammoths twice
the size of elephants. I stand in the shade
of the cottonwoods. They whisper to me.
They tell me ancient tales of hunger, strife,
beauty, love, endurance, woe, war, weaponry,
courage and community. How did they overcome
danger, fear? My skin tingles strangely
in the summer heat. Now this land is dry,
desert, the water that sustained teeming life
evaporated in the crystalline air.
Twelve thousand years from now who will stand here?
Will this place exist? Will someone wonder the meaning
of our bones, who we were, what we believed?