I Am the Artefact


I Am the Artefact

We are pit finds.  We fill museum drawers –
Not that we mind how we crowd your shelves and stores.
We excite you, we invite you,
With ev’ry coin and bead.
So much to learn from tax returns
And obscure housing deeds.

The seeker’s pact, if knowledge is your task: –
For ev’ry fact, a question more to ask.
What tales were told on harsh nights cold ?
The telling now is done.
So add your choice to our still voice,
Your best guess now our tongue.

You bring us back with trowel and expert eye,
And patient knack.  What gems in this dirt lie ?
A piece of pot or leaden shot
Or bones or spoil remains.
With these effects you resurrect,
Unearth us from the plains.

We are heroes of archaeology.
Where now grass grows was our society.
The soil is sieved on which we lived
And which maintains us still.
We’re sprinkled through this residue,
We feed this grassy hill.

All we achieved now fill the trays of finds.
All we believed, extracted from our shrines.
Our ritual sites and codes of rites
For life after we’re gone.
And proof !  For see – in surgeries
Our skeletons now hang.

In libraries, our wisdom told and bound –
Within these leaves more answers may be found.
Reporting news, our journals muse
Events which come to pass.
What headlines say in press today
Are taught in hist’ry class.

We are not dead, as here I write these lines,
Yet when they’re read, we lie beneath the vines.
And one day too then so will you,
Dear Reader, be consumed –
And in your turn may others learn
From your remains exhumed.

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