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On Discovering the Bones of a Deer in the Woods I am Immediately Elated

The fan of ribs pokes up through a nest of leaves and I become an archeologist on the
trail of a hidden culture passed. I pluck one rib from the ground, feel the perfect curve.
One step, oh, a femur! I am an ancient warrior with a brand new knife and club. I begin to
skip and pivot, a pelvis, what joy! I hold it to my face like a shamanís mask. I begin to
crouch, 1, 2, 3 vertebrae! I shake them together, exactly what a soothsayer needs to throw
into a pit of fire. I turn up my shirt and pile the bones in. My pouch grows. I can feel their
cool weight against my belly, my fingernails fill with dirt. And then, there it is, the top of
the totem pole, the skull! I stop, place both hands on the antlers and ease it from the soil. I
hold it in the air, wipe leaves from the sockets, pick twigs from the teeth. I am a human
teasing God, shaking my prize to the sky, crying Iíve found it, Iíve found what lasts!