I dug up garnets west of Chatham.
They stared like blood ruby eyes
across a tobacco field, a weedy ditch.
They felt like burnt, swollen pennies.
I hid them all summer in a big clam shell.
I gave them to a cousin one night.
He grinned and said, sew a dark cloth
around them, bag them up like heaven.
He grinned all year, his luck much slower
than fifty two Vegas card tricks and math.
This was just when Vietnam
touched my cousin, and drafted him.
It dusted Chatham across the sky.
It fleeced his mind like gamblers
loading bullets behind all their cards.
He never came home. Last year I found
the cloth with the garnets sewed in,
and I sold it cheap at a flea market,
one more thing with no more war.