Cave Bear Dreams

By Ann K. Schwader

We'd dream like bears out here, technicians said

before their needles took us, sharp & cold

as those equations changing us to cargo

in winter's hold.

Suspended through the twilight centuries,

our bodies take in little, give back less

until we linger at the cavern entrance

to nothingness.

Yet in these shadows knotted through the stars,

lost creatures quicken. Chauvet of the mind

scrawls out its ocher & imagination,

gene-deep design.

Released from hibernation, we achieve

that otherness the needles promised. Claw

marks annotate awakening, & instinct

mutates to law.

Let those who follow wonder as they will

at skulls on stones charcoaled with ritual fire

by worshippers long past. Our journey's end

sketched their desires.


Ann K. Schwader lives, writes, and volunteers at her local branch library in Westminster, CO. Her most recent poetry collection is Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press 2011). Her dark SF poetry collection Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2010) was a Bram Stoker Award nominee. She is a member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA. Her LiveJournal is Yaddith Times.

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