On long summer days with nothing much to do,
we'd walk the half-mile driveway
looking for anything interesting—
snails, soft patches of moss,
old bird nests, lizards,
trees with small hollows.
Crinoid stems were difficult to notice,
like ancient hand-carved beads
or some kind of rough-hewn screws
driven into the dirt. Yet, small as they are,
even half covered, the cylinder shape
gave them away. We'd fill our pockets,
wash the dirt from the crevices.
Rarer were the man-made treasures.
Still ancient enough, the shards shimmered
in shades of obsidian or latte or slate,
bits flicked casually as some carver ages ago
whittled stone into weapon. The chips hide, now,
shaped and sharpened, amid regular rocks.
Sometimes I'd discover them there, but never
did I find the arrowheads they left behind.
Geodes, though, were easy to spot,
scattered throughout the rounder rocks
of creek gravel smoothed by water before
being hauled in instead of pavement.
On the outside, they were ugly.
Plain, dirty little clumps of concrete
like caramel popcorn gone horribly stale.
But when we threw them hard enough to break
we'd see them sparkle, clean as sugar.
[Check out Jessica Temple's back porch advice]