Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Archaeologist



dear reader:

An appropriate poem for Valentine's Day, I think.


THE ARCHAEOLOGIST

Every morning before work
as he sits in his stifling tent
he says her name:

the name of the one once worshipped
at these ancient temple ruins--Her.

With knees lowered
and his head bowed
he feels that name within:

a presence greater
a presence foreign

and yet
there it is:
a part of him.

From the strength of that feeling
he believes he follows a higher calling
and so, every day, he's able to endure
the dust--
the tedious shifting through dirt
the sweating madness of the desert--

he can even calm the fights
under that merciless sun.

But sometimes at night
while lying on his stiff cot in the dark
after another day of grinding labor
with little gain
that name--the goddess name
may not feel so meaningful

and so, for solace and inspiration
he instead whispers that other name

by contrast, a rather plain name

but like that ancient goddess
the woman of the plain name
also holds a cup to the sun:

no, not a cup of sanctified water--
maybe just a cup of strong coffee
or maybe a cup of stone-cut oats

but aren't such things also holy?--

this woman, not a goddess
but not wholly unlike one.


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: poetry ebook

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