In the cave with a long-ago flare
a woman stands, her arms up. Red twig, black twig, brown twig.
A wall of leaping darkness over her.
The men are out hunting in the early light
But here in this flicker, one or two men, painting
and a woman among them.
Great living animals grow on the stone walls,
their pelts, their eyes, their sex, their hearts,
and the cave-painters touch them with life, red, brown, black,
a woman among them, painting.
From The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser, edited by Janet E. Kaufman and Anne F. Herzog with Jan Heller Levi © 2005. Reprinted with permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Poems by This Author

Elegy in Joy [excerpt] by Muriel Rukeyser
We tell beginnings: for the flesh and the answer
How We Did It by Muriel Rukeyser
The Conjugation of the Paramecium by Muriel Rukeyser
This has nothing
The Poem as Mask by Muriel Rukeyser
When I wrote of the women in their dances and

Further Reading

Related Poems
by Alfred Kreymborg