As a boy, I hid in closets.
The sky was too big.
After the new furnace was
unpacked in the basement
the workmen left a large
carboard box behind.
I made it into a house
with a door and windows.

As a soldier I crouched low
in bunkers and behind berms.
I thought of the early humans
in their caves, of their art work,
of their thatched rooves in forests
where there were no caves.
The night sky was too big
and mysterious for them.
They needed to hide.

I built houses to keep me
dry, to keep me warm, to block out
the immensity, the dangers whirling
in universes beyond my understanding,
too vast for me when they lit up at night.

I knew a flood, a tornado, a pestilence,
could come and get me,
as the mammoths, the dinosaurs,
the beasts with large curved claws and teeth,
storms, raging fires, spiders and snakes
could seek out the cave people.

I think of them often when curled in bed
pretending the walls of my house are strong.
I wish I could hide in caves as they hid,
in darkness, around small fires.