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Born in northern forests of
Australia centuries ago
And carved from yellow jarrah,
My wooden treasure box
Holds secrets of its own.

Felled for ballast on sailing ships,
It traveled over distant oceans
And touched exotic shores,
Seeking the spirit of Africa.

Abandoned on the docks,
The jarrah became railroad ties,
Carrying steam engines
Across the dry,
Burned colors of a continent.

Polished and alive again
After four hundred years,
The box captures within it
The roar of a startled lion,
The thundering hooves of wildebeest
And the long, graceful loping of giraffes.

Our secrets are treasured
Together now
With the shimmering heat of the plain,
And warm a space for my own memories
Still waiting to unfold.

Treasure Box Mark Roberts
Mark Roberts, 11
Windsor, California

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