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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Opening the Geode by Julie Hill Alger

When the molten earth seethed 
in its whirling cauldron 
nobody watched the pot 
from a tall wooden stool 
set out in windy space 
beyond flame's reach;

and when the spattering mush 
steamed, gurgled, boiled over, 
mounded up in smoking hills
no giant mixing spoon 
smoothed out the lumps and bubbles 
as the pottage cooled to rock. 

No kitchen timer ticked 
precisely the eons required 
to fill the gritty pits 
slowly, drop by drop 
with layers of glassy salts, 
agate, opal, quartz; 

no listening ear inclined 
over the silicon mold 
to hear the chink of crystals 
rising geometrically 
facet upon facet 
in the airless dark. 

No hand lifted the stony lid 
to add light, the finishing touch, 
and no guest cried Ah! how well
the recipe turned out - 
until this millennium, today, 
at my table. 
-Julie Alger

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