||||||on the occasion of her breaking
||||||an ancient pot

You know I am no archeologist, Tamar,
And that to me it is all one dust or another.
Still, it must mean something to survive the weather
Of the Ages—earthquake, flood, and war—

Only to shatter in your very hands.
Perhaps it was gravity, or maybe fated—
Although I wonder if it had not waited
Those years in drawers, aeons in distant lands,

And in your fingers’ music, just a little
Was emboldened by your blood, and so forgot
That it was not a rosebud, but a pot,
And, trying to unfold for you, was brittle.

Author: Alicia E. Stallings


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This is one of my all-time favorite poems. It is both compassionate and clever. Alicia Stallings has a strong interest in archeology.