A Time Before Teachers

No one was there to show them how to tie a knot or
sew a pelt. They just learned how to do it.

No cave bear could teach them how to survive among
cave bears. They just did. Somehow they learned.

In the age of ice, no one was there to show them
how to catch fish or cut wood into tools. They just did. 
Turning an animal’s shoulder blade into a shovel.

And no one was there to show them how to make fire. 

With little else but chipped stones, they harnessed it. 
Two million years ago. A time before teachers.

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, the Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Havana Times, the South China Morning Post, the Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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