03 February 2009


You’ll never guess what they’ve dug up
out of the ground that has lain beneath their feet
all of these centuries;
What held its breath, waiting for them to pass over it
with their tools of discovery,
of destruction.

Hidden, underneath loose clumps of soil,
covered by grass that held its ground with the seasons
of rain,
of drought,
a face looked up,
the weight of the land on his cheekbones
instead of his shoulders.

The restful pressure lessened each day;
First by shovelful, and eventually by the lightness of
brush on bone.
The sigh was unmistakable,
‘they’ve found me’.

Each piece of him was lifted, numbered, bagged.
His winter-leaf-thin scull shivered in their fingers.
His tooth-roots rattled in their sockets.
The empty holes gave way no expression, so
the visitors imagined his face smiling from the creases of his eyes
to the muscles in his jaw.
They imagined a face contorted in the pain
of the gunshot wound in his leg.
They imagines his eyes closed, resting, peaceful.

‘You’ll never guess!’ the people exclaim.
‘Come see what they’ve dug up!’
‘He’s on display, you know!’
‘Only $5 to see a dead man!’

In the background you can hear park rangers on their lawnmowers.
Through the windows you can see them spraying the life down fro the trees.
You look at the man in the glass case,
and all you see are bones four hundred years tired of it all.

You’ll never guess what they’ve dug up.
It is a man from the Jamestown Fort.


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