I FIND MY FATHER IN A PIECE OF AMBER
Walking along the beach at low tide,
picking through heaps of natures jetsam
with sand fleas leaping about my feet, I spied
an interesting rock, a conglomerate
of some kind, which I placed in my pocket.
Later, at home, I broke open the stone
with a hammer. Inside was a rough
piece of amber. Holding it to the light,
I clearly saw the shape of my father
perfectly preserved within the
hardened resin of antiquity,
a familiar expression frozen on his face,
the very same smirk he had worn
as he lay displayed in his coffin.
When I held the stone to my ear,
he spoke: "Yes, just as I stumped you
at hide and seek & defeated you
in the sack races at church picnics,
as I could tie a bow line hitch
& calculate cubic feet in my head,
so I also beat you through the Gates of Death
& now, have even preceded you
into the geological archives. Indeed,
I have become my own historian."
So I purchased a lapidary tumbler,
filled it with the finest grit, polished
the amber to a peak translucence.
A jeweler set this amber stone
into a 24 carat gold clasp, which became
this lovely pendant I wear from my neck.