Forgotten Relics


Day 12

Hello reader, just a side note here, I’ll be putting these poems on my podcast in May and discussing my journey. The podcast is KDOI Podcasting click on the link, there is 3 seasons worth of art, discussion, interviews projects and more.
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it. Alternatively, what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object?

Forgotten Relics

12 April 2019

Light pink, almost salmon soapstone statue

The merchant on the beach told me it was the Ethiopia constipation man

It was a knock off of Rodan’s Thinking Man

The crafts man made it so smooth,

it slips through your hand if you aren’t careful

When on the beach, they prefer American dollars over Kenyan Shillings

But I am a dumb American GI, what do I know

Prices are written in the sand

much like promises from unfaithful lovers

we barter, I am accused of skinning him, cheating him

his stories of his thirteen children do not move me

I am the rich American

we agree two hundred shillings, sixty shillings to the dollar back then

it has heft, it could be used as a weapon

but back then it was just something to take to my dorm room

trying to prove my manliness to others who had shrines dedicated to the places the force had taken them

In those days we used the hot sauce bottles in our MRE’s

filled them up with dirt or sand from where we traveled

wrote the name of the country and put them up on the window sill

That trip I took home an entire chess set,

a teak rhino with ivory tusks, a mask, teak key chain with my name on it

and the Ethiopian thinking man.

On the trip back to the states the chess set was pummeled into dust,

the rhino had its tusks confiscated and leg broken off,

the key chain was stolen and there sat the Ethiopian thinking man,

crapping away at the top of my bag.

I have carried that statue now for twenty six years

the only external memory form those days of sun and insanity

yes there is a medal that the VA forgets to recognize

yes there are the dreams that keep me awake some nights

there are the orders, without my name on them, yellowed with age

But this statue, silent, basic, smooth, has withstood

more than any friend of mine has,

Has seen every place I have lived, he is always put out first and packed last

right now he gazes at me as I sleep

The wife having bought another soap stone statue

with arms raised to form a heart,

she placed her statue next to mine to represent her

we will have this house paid off in twenty five years

we will not pack these statues up anywhere

my children will know the history of these stoic figures

one day finding their own figures

and placing them next to ours.

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