Poetry - Issue 05 | June 2009

The National Museum

by Crystal


The National Museum

They have waited a long time
for someone to notice them,
these mud grenades,
oatmeal colored and acrid
like a sulfur mine
sit along drab shelves
behind a wall of glass.
Hematite poised and graven,
quartz spiney as a blowfish,
garnet voluptuous like plums
in a bread pudding.

From the window, sunlight
corrugates the room
as if it can transmute into gold any metal
making me believe that I can create a life
from riddles piled up by glaciers,
black obsidian from the veins of magma,
submerge and slip through gaping fissures
racing toward hardness.

How far they’ve traveled to get here.
Someone plucked them out of darkness,
loved them once,
and brushed the soil clear
from their crumpled faces.


About the author

Crystal Spring Gibbins is a PhD student in the Creative Writing Program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she serves on the editorial staff for Prairie Schooner. When she’s not teaching or taking classes, she loosens the knot from her necktie, hugs a seat cushion on any goddamn plane, and speeds over the Atlantic to trek through the streets of Prague, London, and Venice.

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