I. The Archer Invents the Stringed Instrument
From the hilltop, she saw no prey
and took to the shade of a tree.
She secured an end of her wooden bow
into the ground between the roots.
She plucked the bow’s sinew string.
She plucked it again.
She slid one finger
halfway down the string
and with another plucked
a higher tone.
She slid her finger up and down
and plucked and plucked
until the reindeer came.
II. The Musician Invents a Weapon
He took to the hill and the shade of a tree
to practice drawing music from a string.
He planted the long end of his cane bow
into the ground between the roots
and tapped and rubbed the reedy string
with a wooden stick.
He slid his finger up and down
and tapped and rubbed
until a bison arrived
with a snort and a lowered head.
He turned the stick around,
secured an end to the string,
and drew it to his chest.
Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose and the author of six collections of poetry. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break: