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Sep 2017
Sere and yellow,
Rough and round, [bright pebbles in a mound]
Pitted and mellow,
Winding our necks round,
We wore them.

Amber beads unearthed from clay,
Fashioned by my artist love,
Glowing yellow, filled with day,
Captures sunbeams from above.
I still love them.

Some say gods have made these,
To ensnare the light of Sun,
But we women saved these,
In memory & hope of sons,
We keep them.

Fat & smooth as butter,
We turned them in our hands.
The bone beads scraped with madder,
The amber just with sand.

Those of shadowy carnelian
Embedded like a shield,
We treasure as we fear them,
Like wounds on battlefields.

The others soaked with brownish earth,
Sere and yellow,
Rough and round, [bright pebbles in a mound]
Pitted and mellow,
Winding our necks round,
We wore them.

So, when we are dead, take not from us,
These rounded, golden suns,
But bury them with us, with sword and severed buss,
To revere the slaughtered ones,
Who never returned to us.

Revised November 15, 2016
This poem was inspired by several photos taken by poet/photography and historian, Giles Watson, of amber and other beads unearthed at an Anglo-Saxon dig site in England. I was struck by the way the amber still glowed after hundreds of years beneath the earth, and the artistry of them.
Sharon Talbot
Written by
Sharon Talbot  Massachusetts, USA
(Massachusetts, USA)   
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