Chauvet Cave: Shadorma

Vernita Hall


Footprints in
a prehistoric
cave. Two sets:
human child,
large wolf. There’s a story here.
All depends on time,

your classic
roll of dice.
What entered
next — hunger, winter, warfare?
Choose your raconteur.

Let Quentin
tell it, the kid would
be a girl,
Artemis —
armed maid, blood-smeared, emergent
with a trophy ear.

Tap Steven:
Feral boy in hat
rides giant-
jaws buddy
wolf, peerless light-washed questors,
great John Williams score.

George R.R.’s
set — a lair tiled in
magic bones,
wolf king. Boy meets dire fate, but
never sacred cows.

would end humankind.
Some robot
could bend time in time, writing
us a sequel, too.




Vernita Hall is the author of Where William Walked: Poems About Philadelphia and Its People of Color, winner of the Willow Books Grand Prize and of the Robert Creeley Prize from Marsh Hawk Press; and The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About Philadelphians, winner of the Moonstone Press Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals, including American Poetry Review, African American Review, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Mezzo Cammin, Solstice, and The Cortland Review. With fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and Ucross, Hall holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College and serves on the poetry review board of Philadelphia Stories.