I seek a treasure long buried
Beneath the Mattaponi mud.
Sediment clings to long fingers,
Burrowing under untrimmed nails.
It is soft yet firm, gripping on its own.
It wants to take my arm for itself,
Just as it took this treasure.
Not all of time rests in grains of sand.
Some time flows like mud:
Swollen, grasping, sucking in,
But only whistling out.
Crab bubbles float to a surface
That swallowed something far greater.
Nothing escapes the dark glue with ease.
Here I learned where I didn’t belong.
Many stayed placid, but I was the current.
I ran till I emptied out into the sea
And floated to terra incognita.
I found tides as strong as me
And haven’t been home since.
But I need something I left behind . . . .
My hand closes around the lost treasure,
Freeing it from the vacuum of mud
That clouds the water beneath the surface.
The treasure breaches, glue sloughing from tissue,
The chambers pumping in my hand
As the remains of freshwater escape
From long clogged and clotted veins.
The Mattaponi carries away the time I lost
Trying to stay in place with those lingering.
I turn the treasure over and smile
As blood floats downstream in preparation.
Feeling it warm in the light of the sun,
The gentle rhythm of life beats in my hand.
“Come my heart,” I say. “Home awaits.”