The Archaeology of Being

When they dig into the earth, geologically,
the lines and layers speak their trauma.
Floods and fires, apocalyptic damage
showing itself in the thickness, debris,
lean lines and layers of scarred soil.

My grandfather taught me about the rings
on trees, the drought years and hard fought
survival ines showing in the width of the ring.
Natural growth stunted, thinner. This carrying
within its core, growth circles of pain and plenty.

I wonder at the trauma rings of humans —
slice me open in some way, split my center,
dig down the half of me in layers —
The hours of grief, the days of joy.
How deep each layer or how thin?

Slice me open, split my center
study me as the land or tree,
point the place of catastrophic growth —
line, ring, width, depth, expanding
into the archaeology of being human.

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