At the Diggy Bins,
nickname ours, we sought survivors    
amidst all manner

of matter    heaps of worn
stuffed animals     knick-knacks     toys severed
from larger sets       tangled cords        straggling
small kitchen appliances     dumped     directly     from donation   boxes    
into wooden bins      dilapidated     stretched     in     long rows       
broken glass         compounding      chaos       the rough       treatment      of it all

my mom’s teeth
were a map; her sixth sense
of    significance         winding paths    to floating islands of
value     chameleon-ed     in the accumulation—

figurines     pottery     jewelry       worth up to sixty times           what you’d pay      easy
if you could recognize     the faded artist signatures

the gentle markings of validity
how real gems hit different
on your teeth
than cubic zirconia.

There is nothing more useful than knowing
what to love.

This is how I learned—
my mom digging for a diamond
in the rough, furtively tapping
a tarnished jewel

to her canine, listening
for its final word.

By Ginger Harris


Ginger Harris is an emerging writer who lives in Denver. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she also studied creative writing. You can find more of her poetry on Instagram @ayla.poetry

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