i'd forgotten about them, the chains
and bracelets thick in 916
gold, pure as can be,
of the most malleable of metals,
to keep its shape, and links, from my
childhood; an anchor dangling
in the web of a pilot's wheel,
and that lucky tiger tooth,
or was it to ward off dark spirits? probably
ivory, root canaled and plated.
through long years, mined, to the machinery
grind of an aching back and balls
of breaking feet and hard honest graft,
braving maws of open pits scaling
tartar from molars, fabricating crowns, without
prospect; doggedly squirreling and safed,
when the price of gold was down -
it was the only market you could trust -
what falls must one day rise up.
(so rise up. maybe one day too
they will find a cure for the cancerous.)
"for alfie - mom" the envelope read.
and to think i was worth something
in constancy, past my own living
memory, in precious mettle
earned, without constantly
having to be remade to proof it.