by Julia Griffin
“A 2,000-year-old Roman statuette of a silver-eyed goddess Minerva that for more than a decade was kept in a plastic margarine tub is among a record number of treasure discoveries made by the nation’s army of metal detectorists.”—The Guardian
How long had she been waiting, far from home,
Proud posture and immortal silver stare,
When an enthusiast trepanned the loam
In a dim Oxford field, and struck her there?
He brushed her gently: from her leaden dress
Dropped years of earth. How many, though? How long?
Resisting hope, he made a prudent guess
And called her Modern Copy. He was wrong.
He put her in a plastic tub, once packed
With Flora margarine; her moment past,
She lay forgotten, verdigrised and cracked,
For ten more years, till somebody at last
Glanced in and found her—this unlooked-for prize:
Flora-Minerva, of the silver eyes.