i.m Eliza Wharton 



Flint-pickers' hands encoded
with cuneiform blue-black
of stone-mills' grist, or that
in buried road-beds:
the useful silica harvested
from April's frost-baked fields.

Grandmother's hands, then -
fire to my ear, deft with a nit-comb
or gentling a mousy quiff
into short-lived uprightness.
Uprightness! There's a wry thought
for the nesh lad, wet beyond his years,

who will recall the chert
quoined in veiled walls, the well-
knapped flints avoiding the sun,
in later ivied-over times.
And she too, shy of the light,
gone back to her rough origins.




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