NaPoWriMo Day 26: Archaeological Poem

Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.

Religious Artifacts

I wipe my hands
on pantleg
dictate into my wrist

Metallic container, 11 thumb-
spans by four, found
beneath remains of residential
quarters, home of workers
perhaps, who built the city
a few miles away, laid
waste in the wars of
the empire that toppled
under its own weight

if ancient
historians are
to be believed

I am opening the box

Inside, synthetic pouch
like those found elsewhere
bearing that
unexplained word

My theory:
the word
a magical charm
to protect
contents, although
many pouches contain nothing
but household trash

Strange people
these 21st Century
coastal empireans.

But inside this pouch
a flexible block
apparently rectangular

I carefully slice the pouch
protect item inside
the pouch itself
without value

Inside, a stack of thin
rectangular objects
made of thick paper.

Warriors dressed in white,
black, orange uniforms
bearing war clubs

A mysterious word
above each picture
strange titles below:
Hunter Pence
Buster Posey
titles lost to time

I turn one over
an official called
a “Brandon Crawford”
whatever that was
long-haired warrior
slightly bearded

Rear surface covered
in numbers and strange words–
that same “San Francisco”
found in the buried ruins
of the city–
mysterious codes I hope
to decipher later

My skin tingles
with possibilities,
this discovery of idols
a cult of some kind
bearing magical words
that mean nothing
to me yet:

“Major League Baseball”


–Scott Rhoades


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