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Consolation for Tamar

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.


Alicia E. Stallings



© Alicia E. Stallings.  From Archaic Smile, University

of Evansville Press; originally printed in The Classical

Outlook; reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Robin's Web

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