My Grandpa Neanderthal

29 Mar

Those of you who have read my most recent blog installment will see the connection with this poem. Let me add that some researchers believe that the Neanderthals’ extinction has to do with their relatively poorer communication skills, which made it more difficult for them to form community and share with modern humans. (Note that Modern  Humans is a recent term that refers to the species that is also known as Cro-Magnon.)


My Grandpa Neanderthal

Thanks to you
i survived god-knows-what
my lungs hollowed out
from outdoor living
in the dank
and cold

In my ignorance
i knew not what
seeds to plant
nor what
herbs served as

i surpassed you
to be sure
but when
great great great
grandma met you
you held the cards

You had the genes
i lacked
to fight those
unseen bugs
that  may well have
struck me down

You possessed
the knowledge
nay wisdom of
daily life
what to plant
how to hunt
and build

No one would say
you were the great
your group life
was well

We moderns
like to think we
were the cutting edge
most diggers
into the past
would agree

But you broke
the mold
god be praised
that night
in a cold
siberian cave

You caught
great great
great grandma’s
the rest is

(C) Phil Hefner
3/28/2014 #1

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