Just an ordinary, Sunday afternoon –
grandson, deep in concentration,
painting, at an old-pine kitchen table...
His subject – ‘stones’, or ‘Neolithic tools’,
as his granddad had described them;
dug up a day or so before, planting
bamboo at the side of his small pond.
“Just look,” he’d told him. "This one’s
an axe-head, and the other little ones
with the pointed ends, were arrows,
and all these – ‘knifes and forks’...
feel their razor-sharp edge. Imagine,”
he tells him – “forty thousand years ago,
someone sat, just out there where the willow
is now, and crafted these by hand.”
Granddad himself, had been like a dog
with two tails, when first he’d found them.
Rang museum, after museum...to no avail,
yet, a lady, only yesterday, as it was then,
said she'd ring back, and I’m still waiting.
Reward enough though, to see the look
on his grandson’s face; his eyes light up
as he showed him his haul.
“Did prehistoric man who made them,”
he asked, “look anything like this,
do you think?”
And granddad winked, as he glanced
at his picture. The paint had run a bit;
nonetheless, an undoubted masterpiece.
“One can only hazard a guess, what man
or woman, looked like in those times, or
what they would have seen, looking out
this window, countless aeons since, but
your guess – probably better than mine.”
That afternoon, was many, many years ago,
and how could I have known, quite
how much, it would glimmer and glow
in memory’s flickering light, or indeed,
how very precious – Granddad's stones.