My spade, when I was planting out a tree,
Unearthed an axe-head fashioned out of stone.
The soil had shielded it from rain and sun.
The native grasses like a shroud had grown
To cloak it as it lay there in its grave.
Entombed, the stone endured eternal night
Until I came to free it from the earth
And lift it once again towards the light.
Its wooden handle had long gone to dust,
For products sprung from life to nothing fade.
The centuries erase most things man makes,
Yet time had made no mark upon the blade.
Its surfaces were smooth, its edge was sharp;
Such are the lasting qualities of stone.
Perhaps its maker’s spirit rests nearby,
But I saw nothing there of flesh or bone.
photo © Dennis N. O’Brien, 2015