What shards identify this piece found
That glazes through a functional pottery
Broken and dumped into a trench defined by a trowel

That overturns that one bit of earth called home.
Home speaks with a voice beyond
The boundary of an age called civilization –

That nameless age branded by scholars
And archeologists then straight edged
By the measures of empire architects

From Egypt to Assyria, from Rome to Britain.
Their roadmap never quite leads to my hearth
where I remain in the rags of a beggar, a no man waiting

Waiting in the bulldozed field where my grandfathers
Gathered olives before the occupation
By centuries scripted through history

Whose footsteps stamped out the song
Harped and drummed by the bards whose journey
Erased from my conscience the language of exile.

Kemmer Anderson walks his dog along the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has walked the streets of East Jerusalem in 1971, '83, 98, and 2015. Read other articles by Kemmer.