It seemed uncertain as it ate; the new kid
in class, all our eyes on the back of its head.
Then one morning my wife noted its form
among the forget-me-nots,
I went out to inspect and it scampered
into a hole burrowed beneath our landing.
Days later our youngest complained
about an odor emanating from its lair.
The S.P.C.A. came but couldn't dig it up;
so there it lay sepulchered,
a lone carcass in its tomb. What if
others crawled inside to their demise?
I imagined that a future archaeologist
might excavate the site and think
that this primitive culture buried their pets
in a communal plot close to their hearths.
What were Neanderthals at Le Moustier
really thinking as they buried their dead
in the caves of Les Eyzies' shallow pits,
a boy's remains surrounded by wild goat horns?
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