On Holding a Pre-Columbian Clay Figure


Robert J. Conley

somewhere in old Mexico
centuries ago
this clay was wet and formless
an unknown Indian artist
shaped it in his hands
it dried
he died
& now I hold it in my hands
my thumb fits snugly
in the indentation in back of
                            the figure's head
where once he pressed with his
& something of his spirit
lingers there
& for an instant
stirs my blood
then slips back in the clay
to stay secure and secretive
and centuries away.

© 1975 Robert J. Conley

From 21 Poems, Aux Arcs Press.

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