(Poem) Handprints on a Cave Wall by Mary Saracino

Meet Mago Contributor, Mary Saracino.

If I touched my hands to the ochre palms

that grace the walls of the ancient cave

would I know the secrets the rocks

whisper in the dark to ears attuned to magic?

Would I know the holiest of prayers

prayed by the people who once lived in that place,

the women and men who cried and loved, danced and wept,

the children who understood the language of the wind,

the songs of the birds, the poetry of the trees,

the people attuned to the seasons, the Earth and the stars,

surviving on love and hope, on one another

and all the many other things that matter

more than diamonds or gold, status or power?

If I touched my hands to those ancient handprints

would my fingers decipher the story waiting to be told?

Would the ochre palms help my heart remember all the countless

things we humans have forgotten, or misplaced?

Would my bones remember the way back home?

Would the ochre-colored walls ask

“Where have you been, my long-lost daughter? Why have you been gone so long?”

Photo by Luc-Henri Fage, 1999, issue from his book Borneo, Memory of the Caves, http://www.kalimanthrope.com/Borneo_Memory_of_the_Caves.html; This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
Photo by Luc-Henri Fage, 1999, issue from his book Borneo, Memory of the Caves, http://www.kalimanthrope.com/Borneo_Memory_of_the_Caves.html; This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

 

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