By Toni Kief


by Toni Kief


They​​ dig, scrape​​ and brush with hushed​​ anticipation,​​ they​​ have​​ no idea​​ who this man​​ was. ​​ ​​ To the​​ team​​ this​​ is one of many skeletons and​​ they​​ can’t​​ conceive​​ the​​ significance of​​ the man​​ the bones​​ once supported.​​ They​​ know​​ the​​ remains​​ are old,​​ and​​ they​​ decipher a few of​​ his injuries,​​ but​​ are unable to​​ imagine his story. ​​ They​​ work with​​ ultimate care​​ because a​​ single​​ wrong​​ ed the earth and hunted for meat​​ with the others. ​​ 

hey need to​​ stop guessing​​ and generalizing​​ long enough​​ to​​ hear his story whispered on the breeze. In the shine​​ of​​ each​​ eye,​​ gazing​​ at this box of bones,​​ is the story of​​ his mother. She​​ who​​ bore him on her​​ back,​​ following​​ his father​​ and his father’s father​​ tracking herds​​ further​​ north. ​​ In the everyday​​ struggle​​ the​​ family​​ couldn’t​​ comprehend​​ that they were​​ creators,​​ and he,​​ the beginning of a new race. ​​ The experts will guess at​​ a​​ simple life shared and th food​​ eaten,​​ but miss the brilliance​​ of​​ the ancestors​​ who​​ adapted and changed​​ to survive.​​ There will be papers written​​ and interviews given​​ about the​​ bones and the​​ possible causes of his demise. ​​ Then he will be forgotten, again.


​​ The Academics​​ will never understand the​​ labor​​ that​​ bound them​​ together in​​ an unbreakable​​ communication​​ of​​ loyalty and​​ love. ​​ His tribe​​ all worked into the exhausted night,​​ to rest and work again with every sun.​​ Each member​​ within the​​ small community was respected and important,​​ for​​ the​​ bloodline​​ to​​ live on. ​​​​ The experts​​ cannot​​ know​​ their​​ life was more than the​​ struggle for shelter​​ and​​ sustenance. ​​ When​​ there was warmth and enough food there would be stories, laughter​​ and on​​ a few​​ special​​ nights,​​ music. ​​ 


Only his departed​​ spirit​​ recalls​​ his mother’s tears​​ at his birth. Alarmed at his​​ pallor,​​ she was​​ afraid he would die. She​​ was wrong,​​ he​​ proved​​ to be​​ strong​​ and thrived. ​​ The scientists will never discover that he is the first to capture the color of the sky​​ that could change to the​​ cold stare of a glacier sparkling from his eyes. ​​ As the​​ scholars​​ poke at his remains,​​ looking for​​ lost​​ DNA,​​ they​​ are unaware of​​ his​​ position​​ as​​ the​​ father of​​ many of their​​ fathers. ​​​​ Their science is too​​ limited to​​ appreciate​​ the first of a race that will​​ prosper and invade every corner of this earth.​​ Every blue eye​​ gazing into this box of bones​​ sees with his eyes, every pale hand​​ calls​​ him​​ father.  ​​​​ His bones stayed hidden for more millennia than they can​​ accurately​​ count.​​ That single day he released his bones to them​​ as an​​ honor​​ to​​ his children’s​​ children. ​​ They will​​ continue to search for​​ a​​ first mother,​​ unaware that​​ they keep​​ a​​ first father in a box​​ stored in a​​ museum​​ basement. ​​ The decomposition​​ is​​ nearly​​ complete​​ as we try to remember​​ his name.​​ 

About The Author

Toni Kief, a child of the 60s, Midwestern by birth, Northwestern by choice, Toni challenges the boundaries for women of a certain age. After a long career as an insurance adjuster, she fell into writing through a challenge from a friend. She has released her first book, Old Baggage, with two others in the grinder. Toni never dated Mick Jagger, but marched for civil rights, shared bread with icons of politics and art. She is spending her retirement, gathering stories prime for embellishment. Writing has taught her inspiration without perspiration is just a good idea.