Thursday, January 30, 2014

Charles Harmon
PRECIOUS METALS
 
On her finger, a ring of gold
Alloyed with silver and copper for strength,
Yellow gold and white gold combined into one.
Circular,  round signifying never ending,
Never rusting, let the marriage never corrode.
 
Platinum in the setting of her engagement ring
Cradling the crystalline faceted diamond,
Non-metallic but born of the same fire
As Life itself, the promise of Eternal Life.
 
Calcium and phosphorus in the bones and teeth
Of our growing children sleeping in their beds,
Sodium and potassium in their muscles and nerves,
Biological batteries generating electricity,
Organic motors, brain computers, nerve telephone wires….
 
Americium in the smoke detectors,
To waken from slumber in emergency.
Tungsten and mercury vapor in light bulbs
To guide our way out to safety.
Iron in the steel that strengthens the doors,
Silicon and Germanium metalloids in the computer chips
That store our family memories and allow us to
Communicate with the rest of the known universe.
 
Quicksilver in the thermometer that warns of fever,
Rare earth metals in the televisions, radios, computers,
Alarums, thermostats, and ancillary electronics
That run the house and cars and help to guard their inhabitants.
 
In the safe, gold and silver coins inherited from Grandfathers,
Retaining their intrinsic value as fiat paper currency
Has plummeted ninety-seven percent in one hundred years.
Tools and weapons of steel, projectiles of copper and lead,
Primers and propellants encased in brass,
Precious metals protecting our other precious metals.

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