They dance for you, clad in
the gold of crocuses.
They dance for the bear that was killed,
and honor it—and you—accordingly.
cheeks aglow with joy under the masks,
under the false faces of the bear that died.
Every girl-child born in that place
grows from infancy knowing
that some day, she will go
to your temple, first racing through the woods,
arktoi in name and face,
wild as the bear is wild,
before coming with the others of her kind
and dancing those slow and solemn steps
that show how the great beast
once walked those same ways,
sleeping and hunting and playing,
your children now
as he was then.