On a man in the mountains, dusk falls;
Shadows seep upward and spread.
Scaling the black, chiseled walls,
He silently seeks the dead.
The Andes, sharp spine of Peru,
Shelter small secrets of stone.
That night, an ancient milieu:
Obsidian, jasper, bone.
Into deep history, peer:
Sharp edges of tools, human craft!
Adventurous people lived here,
Climbed, feasted, laughed.
“New Sites Bring the Earliest Americans Out of the Shadows,” Ann Gibbons, Science, 2014
This is one in a series of poems based on science news, written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.