Opening the Geode by Julie Hill Alger

When the molten earth seethed
in its whirling cauldron
nobody watched the pot
from a tall wooden stool
set out in windy space
beyond flame's reach;

and when the spattering mush
steamed, gurgled, boiled over,
mounded up in smoking hills
no giant mixing spoon
smoothed out the lumps and bubbles
as the pottage cooled to rock.

No kitchen timer ticked
precisely the eons required
to fill the gritty pits
slowly, drop by drop
with layers of glassy salts,
agate, opal, quartz;

no listening ear inclined
over the silicon mold
to hear the chink of crystals
rising geometrically
facet upon facet
in the airless dark.

No hand lifted the stony lid
to add light, the finishing touch,
and no guest cried Ah! how well
the recipe turned out -
until this millennium, today,
at my table.

by Julie Hill Alger

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