from the archives – If I Were a Sculptor

If I were a sculptor
I’d carve in stone
The face of my beloved –

I’d sand the surface
Of the stone
To smooth perfection:

Because art should represent life
As it is, and as
It ought to be.

But I digress
At a moment when discipline
And precision are most required . . .

I’d chisel her perfectly
Centered nose, on her perfectly
Symmetrical face –

With care and concentration
I’d reproduce the mystic
Contours of her forehead –

I’d round out her chin
And save her lips
For last.

Then I’d compare
Her sculptured features
To my own:

A grotesque genetic mixture
Of master and slave
Of Native and Negro –

My weathered face
Overexposed and
Burned to a deep dark hue.

Then I’d ask her:
Is black still beautiful
My African queen?
My Goddess of the Nile?

Or has that fashion changed,
That style gone out of style?

But I digress again –
And I am not a sculptor
I am a poet:

And these words are
All I have to preserve
In time, for time,
The beauty of my beloved.

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Author: Raymond Maxwell

https://raymmaxx.wordpress.com/ Librarian, retired foreign service manager and former naval officer. Strong interests in information architecture, instructional design, critical pedagogy, taxonomies and metadata management, information governance, and cultural heritage preservation.

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