Poems by Crystal Gibbins

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Touring the National Museum in Prague

by Crystal Gibbins

From Canary Winter 2009-10

Crystal lives along the US/Canadian border in the Lake of the Woods watershed.

They have waited a long time
for someone to notice them:
these mud grenades,
oatmeal colored and acrid
like a sulfur mine
sitting 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
I can create a life from riddles
piled up by glaciers, black
obsidian from the veins
of magma, submerged, slipping
through gaping fissures,
racing toward hardness.

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

Reprinted from Yellow Medicine Review, Issue 6

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