I wrote an essay about this poem this week. We had like 30 to choose from, but I picked this one because it made me smile and think of Lorin. In another world, Lorin might have had a shoebox full of minerals.
by Marilyn Nelson
The only thing he still wanted
that a millionaire could buy,
Ford's good friend answered,
was a big diamond,
In Ford's mind,
on Carver's long, skinny, wrinkled
a stone to dazzle an entire
classification system of eyes.
Ford told how he bought a flawless
many-carat stone, had it set
in a masculine ring,
and sent it off
When next in Tuskegee
to visit Carver and throw
some money around,
Ford asked where the ring was.
Carver lovingly set aside
several dusty shoeboxes of specimens
and opened a box labeled MINERALS.
He showed Ford his phosphate pebble,
found in an Iowa creek bed,
his microcline feldspar, found
in the Alabama woods, his smoky quartz,
kicked up by his boot toe
in a Kansas wheat field, his fluorite,
sent by a Kentucky spelunker, his
marcasite, sent by an English mineralogist
in exchange for a piece of information,
and here it was, his diamond, the gift
of his dear friend, Henry.
Carver held the ring up to the window.
Ford saw by it's faceted luster
that Carver's eyes weren't black, they were brown -
no, they were sparklets of citrine light.