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De Waal Venter

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Neanderthal

Blue-eyed boy

The woman was not an Earth Mother

who could make the winter

go away

and protected the hunters.

She was a woman

who held the baby’s head

in the hollow of her hand.

He was sleeping,

but she knew his eyes were blue

like hers;

but he had the long head

of his father’s.

You are of two people,

she crooned to him softly,

of the rhino hunters

and the clever ochre people

from the warmer lands.

He opened his eyes

and opened his mouth.

She stopped him with her breast.

He was content,

for now.

 

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