Aroha’s fossil goes clear through the washing cycle
still in the pocket of her wrangler jeans
and comes out deepsea clean & pure as
someone’s eyes are seas who’s
fallen right through the world
(straight through to China as we used to say)
Keelhauling, gutting, name it —
nothing of that shows.
She says, hey here’s my fossil back and
warms it in her hand.
Colleen Thibaudeau, 1972
“Aroha’s Fossil” is from The Artemesia Book (1991), available from Brick Books.
>>> Listen to Angela Graham read “Aroha’s Fossil” here.
For more about the poem, see Maureen Scott Harris‘s essay “The Unfolding Present: Rereading Colleen Thibaudeau” in Brick Books Celebration of Canadian Poetry.