Image: Kenzie Allen
The stranger with his flat axe of copper
comes to trade in the village
where his axe-shine trumps

flint, stone, bone, antler. Now,
what fool wants to be buried
with ivory beads and clay pots?

No more communal burials with women
crying over barrows. Each man to his own
grave, and as many grave goods

as he can muster. Tools beget weapons
beget coins beget jewelry
and there’s no end to want,

want trade spreads like disease.
Copper tastes like blood in the lungs
when one is running in fear.

The adults become enamored of shiny things
tasting of blood, become enamored
of reflections. Women dream

in their dwellings but not yet of Midas—
of mirrors, not yet of their children’s

children’s children singing inside
flying buttresses, and sky-high walls of glass.



Lynn Pedersen

Lynn Pedersen’s poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in New England Review, Ecotone, Poet Lore, The Southern Poetry Review, The Palo Alto Review, Heron Tree, and Slipstream. She has two chapbooks, Theories of Rain (Main Street Rag, 2009), and Tiktaalik, Adieu (Finishing Line Press, 2014). A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her website is

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