A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

David Stephenson

is the author of Rhythm and Blues (University of Evansville Press, 2008).

He lives in Detroit, Michigan.

—Back to Orsorum Contents/Issue Links—

Homo Erectus

Assembled out of fragments, the old face,
All eye-sockets and teeth and empty space,
Peers from the book I got for Father’s Day,
The Evolution of the Human Race.

Was it really human? Hard to say,
Since skeletal remains do not betray
The inner life, the mind within the skull,
Where man-or-beast distinctions come in play.

You can’t tell if it loved, was merciful,
Hoped, dreamed, forgave, or thought it had a soul,
If it in fact was even self aware
From evidence so geological,

Though if you focus on its hollow stare
You can convince yourself you see despair.