Self-Portrait as Deminer

Deminer: one who removes explosive mines 


About the pomegranate I must say 
nothing, Pausanias wrote, for its story 
is somewhat of a holy mystery. 
                               Travel 
writer from the second century CE, 
he'd been to temples and tombs, 
pyramids and ruins. 
                    Did he ever pull
out the safety clip, peel back skin-
tight leather bodices for the winking 
jewels nested 
              in those rooms? Together 
but separate, kernel and pith; membrane 
white as the snow that only a mother's
sorrow could spread
                    hard  and brilliant upon 
the earth. Would nothing grow as long 
as she couldn't find a cellar door, 
a staircase, 
             even some servant's
entrance whereby a rescue might
be engineered? We know daughters 
are 
    hungry, as she once was; they'll put 
things into their lipsticked mouths 
not always thinking of the cost. 
The goat will bleat  
                    forlorn, above
ground: its hair, sheared ice; 
droppings hard as stones.
                          In time, 
some thaw could make the landscape 
dangerous again. One day, you might
step on a burr or sweet
                        gum pod; 
a land mine buried deep
in a shared prehistory.  

 


  

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