“Siberian ‘Lady’ Still Youthful After 2,400 Years”

Kathleen Hellen

         after a headline from the Independent

Near the mountains of Altai, beside the Chinese border

they dug her out of ice.

What portent in the tree of knowing that adorned her?

In wild silk dyed with blood of insects?

Her bones were the event, the larches that had been her hut

a frozen chamber, her skin tattooed in signs.

On her shoulder kicking deer, leopards inked and swirling

to her fingers. Six

black horses hurried her to after-life. A warrior. A priest

she darkened in their view. Who

stuffed with fur the sockets of her seeing,

sacrificed the mutton?

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