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Crystal Spring Gibbins

Touring the National Museum in Prague

They have waited a long time
for someone to notice them,
these mud grenades,
oatmeal colored and acrid
like a sulfur mine
sit along drab shelves
behind a wall of glass.
Hematite poised and graven,
quartz spiney as a blowfish,
garnet voluptuous like plums
in a bread pudding.

From the window, sunlight
corrugates the room
as if it can transmute into gold
any metal, making me believe
I can create a life from riddles
piled up by glaciers, black
obsidian from the veins
of magma, submerge and slip
through gaping fissures
racing toward hardness.

How far they’ve traveled to get here.
Someone plucked them out of darkness,
loved them once,
and brushed the soil clear
from their crumpled faces.


Crystal S. Gibbins' "Touring the National Museum in Prague." originally ran in Yellow Medicine Review (Issue 6).