Poems

Schism

Your grandfather
strode erect as he drove his cattle
numbering his herds and his grain
His ancestors, master craftsmen,
the pride of Adam’s farm
strong as eagles
as wise as the raven

Your grandmother
prepared the garmasis – the bridal garment
precious heirloom of your mother
witness to her desire and your integrity –
that itself awaited
the drop of virgin blood
as she knelt
blessed with humility
blessing her bloodline

Is this his sacrificial altar?
Or the prayer mat of your grandmother?

 

Bronze offering table, bearing a depiction of the offering-table, flowers and water-jars used for making libations and offerings to deities and the deceased. Found at a river sanctuary at Meroe, in excavations directed by John Garstang 1913–1914 (his ‘Shrine 1000’). 200 bc–ad 100. uc43987

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