Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Ammonite

by Charlotte Bell

I can’t remember being born
But I’m told it was a slow, laborious birth
Of heat and pressure,
My existence possible only because of a death.
I know what I am.  A shadow
A suggestion
A miniature memorial
A memory of mineral.
 
For millennia I lay in the dark
While all around me raged elemental battles
Water and fire plotted my dissolution, but
I rose triumphant, thrust upwards,
Always upwards, upwards,
To breathe new air in a new world.
 
Still, I waited.
Around me now, a different battle
Mountains ground to rust.
These tamed hills now, like me,
Souvenirs of ancient worlds, ancient dust.
Limestone, frozen-in-time-stone.
 
I remember the day they came to take me.
Noise and metal hew me from my bed,
Wrenched me from my rest.
Now, I lie in a different prison,
With the other ancient things
Glass, and yellow light, and labels.

Added: 19.01.2011

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