Fool’s Gold

I can feel the sharp, uneven edges
dig into the tender skin of my palm
but I do not stop to check for blood
my fingers ache with tension, clenched
possessively around this treasure
dirt caked beneath my ragged nails
as I stumble forward, scrabbling 
over the clammy, smooth-worn stone
my nightblind eyes scry out the winding way
that will return me to the daylit surface
all sound drowned out in the heartbeat
thundering in my ears, driving me
with relentless urgency toward the sun
it’s been long since I had such hope
the darkness unbroken by a single spark
but as the shadows begin to separate
and the air becomes clear and not so close
conviction wavers as I question what
I truly saw there glinting in the dark
the green smell of summer greets me
as at long last, squinting, I emerge into
the breeze-stirred air; the bright world
slips slowly, so slowly, into focus
and I realize, suddenly, with chagrin, 
that this isn’t my first sojourn here
I have passed this way before
within me my soul withers, and with each
familiar landmark I feel my fervor fade
with reluctance, I unfurl my nerveless fist,
peeling back stiff fingers to reveal the prize
nestled in my roughened palm, wryly noting
the deep indentations inscribed in my skin, 
as though by clinging tightly I believed
the pressure could transform this
not-thing into some-thing precious
but its dull, pyritic glitter is unchanged
there is no treasure, no gold in these hills
my desperate quest turns out to be
no more than the errand of a fool.


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Allison Siburg

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Are you aware of your soul yearning for connection to God? Do you know there is something more to your faith than what you have found? Read these devotions and prayer practices to explore more deeply.


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