When I was a boy, I expect
Half my family lived in a tiny town
Where streets were mostly clay and sand.
But here and there, to firm the surface,
Someone had spread cobblestones
Culled from a hill across the river.
These stones looked gray and dull,
Not good for anything but throwing;
But I knew better.
Prospecting for pleasure
I’d pose each rock on a concrete block,
Bash it with a big ol’ ballpeen hammer,
And it would bust, displaying inner treasure.
For all the rocks were quartz of gold and rose
And amethyst, washed eons ago
From mountains long since vanished,
The dull exterior just the effect
Of rough abuse and worse weather.