Friday, 8 June 2007

THE DIG by Nelma Ward

There were shards of sharp edged glass
hard ultramarine and softly curled
Turned up baby bleached snail shells
dryly brittle and silver lined
And sienna nails with flat dented heads
flaking sides and blunted tips
One whole treasurea perfect cup handle
white and glazed and porous at the ends
It too curled shell like
We thought ourselves latterday archaeologists
although we didn’t neatly ink our finds
our avid joy was not diminished
With the dry ashy earth
we found apricot bits of brick
still warm
and a perfect brown fluted bottle
small and whole and jewel like
with its cemented black lid
Faster faster
Sardine key
eyelet screw with screwed up thread
heavy tobacco tin
prised open it revealed
a solid block of
chewing earth
a dead beetle
with one feeler
two ants
a seed
Dig dig
Turn up the previous occupants burial
we leave this
our broken bit
sour forsaken junk
nothing whole
just an enigma
Take them up
handle them

©Nelma Ward

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