The Last Ice Age

the immigrants saw ancient grassland
grassland thatched shut for ten thousand years
and carved it open

riches glistered beneath the shaggy coat

mammoth hunters on a carcass
they fished out shrubs, roots, flint
they obliterated prints of hoof and skin-shod foot
they slit the veins and arteries of animal burrows
skimmed meaty topsoil from its bones

through frost, drought, hail
they worked on even when they had enough
they dug and scalped
they sawed and slaughtered
even as the planet thawed beneath their tools
they butchered on

until the last straw of wild grass
was broken
until they milked
the monstrous glaciers dry


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