The Prize Poem by Linda Coker

The Prize

“Have you been digging in the yard? ”
She cried with great alarm.
I backed away, now on my guard,
But she swiftly grabbed my arm.
Her angry eyes burned into me,
I choked a gulp of fear,
Too late– she quickly grabbed my prize
And used it on my rear.

The prize that brought about such pain
Was ancient, priceless, rare!
The archaeologist I was
Could see ‘twas beyond compare.
The wooden thing unearthed by me
(Within her sacred beds
Of flowers tended carefully)
Put madness in my head.

Was it Egyptian, from the tomb
Of a famous king or prince?
Or useful tool, utensil, toy
Handcrafted by Indians?
And so it was while I was lost
In my imagination,
I paid that very tender cost
For my digging violation.

Seems all that I had found that day
(Once jarred back to my senses) ,
Was probably just tossed away
Or lost by previous tenants.
A modern wooden paddle toy
(Without stretchy string and ball)
Was only dirty garbage now
With no prize value at all.

While ordinary it might have been
The thing possessed some power;
An unexplained phenomenon
Occurred that very hour.
That relic, I believe, was cursed,
And laid in soil so fine,
Just waiting for me to suffer
The affect on my bottom line!


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