by Paul Tristram
Deep within the thirteenth cave
of the snow crested Brecon Beacons
mountain range of Southern Wales.
She sits just well behind the shadows
of the massive main fire
sewing the last few stitches of a badger pelt
into the dome-shaped collection of furs
she has at her dirty, naked feet.
It has taken her 21 sunlight’s of hunting
to gather up enough material for her task.
It is comprised-besides the badger- of
a single fox, rabbit, hare, roe deer, otter,
polecat, beaver, stoat, red squirrel and weasel.
She had started bleeding from between the legs
at the waxing of the last full moon.
The Clans Leader had then pulled her out
from the circle of elder women and children
and placed her at the main fire
with the Warriors and adult women.
Where she was inspected for ripeness
with sniffs and nudges.
She had rubbed wolf shit into her hair and skin
each dawn since
and it had almost completely worked, so far.
She stretched quietly now that the last pelt was in place
and pulled the entire fur dome over herself.
As she crouched secretly in the shadows
blind in the darkness of herself made tomb
her ‘This’ hand clenched together the opening flaps of fur
beneath her arse and feet
as her ‘That’ hand worked away with bone needles
sewing the entrance finally closed.
When this task was completed
she sat waiting
she knew that when she was discovered
the whole Clan would circle
the strange new dome.
And just like when her sisters baby
had tried to come out feet instead of head first
their joint solution to the confusing problem
would be to smash down their clubs in disgust.
So anticipating this she had kept
the head of the fox pelt directly at the top of the dome
right above her own head
knowing full well that it would become the focus,
their target and the fastest entrance to death.