Gift-wrapped

A certain kind of truth, like a certain kind of jewel
can never come gift-wrapped.
If it comes gift-wrapped it’s theirs, not yours.

A certain kind of precious stone, vital in your life
can only be found by you, looking in the hard places.

You can use maps by all means, or take advice
but the graft, the bucket work, has to be yours.

Dig around in the spiky words of your sharp acquaintance
sift through the soil as you backfill a friend’s grave
clean the stones from the soak-away of your septic tank.

A walnut kernel is hidden inside a hard brown shell
which is hidden inside a soft covering of pulpy material
which may be lying casually on the verge under a tree.

Pay particular attention to the space beyond
your likes and dislikes.

Crack open some shale and reveal a fossil.
Crack open your life and reveal the jewel.

This poem is a semi-precious stone in my life.

But, lucky you, you still get to go out and find yours.

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