Put a little pressure and heat on rock,
give it time, and shale turns into slate.
It’s the same with calcium carbonate
slowly reinventing itself as chalk.
Limestone’s in no hurry; it started to harden
during the Lower Jurassic into marble.
Graphite spends millennia on diamond:
The luxury of eons.
………………………………At any rate,
slow or slower, they move in mineral time
with plenty of leisure for maturing late.
Nice for them. I have a different clock,
skin-shallow. Animals can’t afford to wait.
Deborah Warren’s books include The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser Press); Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review. In 2021, her book Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment and her book Connoisseurs of Worms are forthcoming from Paul Dry Press.
Also by Deborah Warren (see all)
- Lycanthrope - October 27, 2020
- Closer - October 27, 2020
- Everything is Light: Frozen Charlotte by Susan de Sola - February 8, 2020