Stone Telling

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The Necklace

by Samantha Henderson

Great grand-mere, several times over smuggled a necklace in a dirty pouch between her thighs through the barricades, in a time when a diamond bought a scrap of meat, and milk-fed babes were as thin as twigs, with aged faces. Through the years, link by link, crystal cluster by cluster, it was sold -- to buy a goat here, and there a small dowry, that the prettiest daughter might have underthings to wear on her wedding night.

One piece remains to me: a twisted chunk of copper-gold -- a sapphire set in an odd frill, or perhaps it's a topaz. Its mates, scattered through history a link melted for a hollow tooth a stone set for a ring, or lost beneath the floorboards. An invisible constellation now across the world's weave and warp of time, and Grand-mere's bones, washed downstream, and bits of bone crystallized across Oldupai Gorge.

Samantha Henderson's poetry has been published in Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Strange Horizons, Dreams and Nightmares, Abyss & Apex, Chizine and Lone Star Stories. Along with Kendall Evans she is a winner of the 2010 long-form Rhysling Award for their co-authored poem, "In the Astronaut Asylum."