It is not unusual, during the course of a morning,
as we weed or mole or fork the land, for us to unearth
some pottery shard or rusted garden implement from
long ago. Flat irons and horse shoes, axe heads and hoes,
red clay roof tiles and nuts and bolts, often present themselves
as the earth is turned, but, today, I found...........
We have had, 'river so high we cannot cross', rain,
and as I was running to the shed to shelter
from another downpour, the rim caught my eye.
Snatching it from the okra bed,
where it lay, smothered in the red mud,
I knew I held a pipe bowl in my hand.
We have found them before, at home, in the yard,
behind the house. T's grandmother used to smoke one.
White clay with a basket weave design.
Only on letting the rain wash over
what lay in my outstretched palm,
did I see the face stare back at me.
This was not grandmother's, nor her mother's
but a pipe from the 1800's,
when those that worked this land
did not do so from choice.