Sparks from the fire
flit into the air like fireflies,
illuminating the cave
and the tribe sleeping within its shelter.
The cave girl is huddled
under a blanket of fur.
Her tribe’s breathing
flows in and out like the tide,
but it cannot lull her to sleep.
The restless girl rises, tiptoes
to the cave’s mouth and peers outside.
Like glowing embers, twinkling stars
dot the silent black sky.
The forest is alive with
hooting and chirping.
The girl sneaks down the hill
into the Shrine Cave.
No one is allowed in this sacred place
without offerings of food or fur.
But the cave girl is entranced
by the painted animals
and stick-figures her people made.
Why shouldn’t she create
a drawing of her own?
She covers her hand with clay
and presses it against the wall
where the handprint will remain
for thousands of years.
Future generations will see it
and part of her will live on.
Sarah M. Prindle received an Associate’s degree in English from Northampton Community College. She loves reading everything from historical fiction and memoirs to poetry and mysteries. She hopes to someday publish her own novels and poetry collections and has already had some of her work published in several literary magazines and websites.