The Old Man had sent word,
he was ready for the awaited reveal.
The army of excitable diggers turned out,
properly attired in pith helmets and scarves.
Each with their tools, should they be required,
picks and shovels and brushes large and small.
Escaping their tents and braving the sand,
anxious ants streaming from their mound,
doubting the reports of what had been found.
Traipsing through the uncovered ruins,
instinctually bunching in twos and threes,
conversing in hushed tones, whispering rumors.
Blown sand dancing and swirling around them
like ignored ghosts frolicking around new found friends,
sweat constantly flowing, heat being omnipresent.
Ignoring the crumbling walls and preserved frescos,
indifferent to the wondrous statuary lining the path.
These uncovered discoveries no longer of interest
in this city recently released from desert sands.
The academic troop all uniformed in browns and tans,
(an occasional rebellious flash of a colored kerchief)
merge in sudden silence where the Old Man waits.
Somber…squatting in a modest doorway,
squinting into the sun, hat covering his knee,
alternating his gaze between
the anxious arrivals and the sand he scooped,
slowly pouring it from hand to hand…
letting it blow away, and starting again.
No words being said, all wait instructions;
he stands, sighs, moves aside,
giving way to those so eager to see… to discover.
Surging ahead they crowd through the door,
coming up short when they see what the old man
has uncovered beneath the sand.
Huddled in the corner are bones,
the first found in this abandoned town.
There are two sets, skeletons still whole,
softly glowing, preserved by dry heat.
One large, seven feet if it were to stand,
large boned, it would have been strong, imposing.
Human in appearance apart from the size…
and the enormous, delicate, bones extending
from his back, forming the wings folded around them.
The other was smaller but formed the same,
cradled childlike against the chest of the larger Angel,
two small hands clinging to one of its guardian’s.
The stunned diggers barely breathed,
many crying, falling to their knees;
others ran to escape their new knowledge.
The Old Man was drifting out into the desert,
hat in hand, forsaking protection,
tears forming and drying before they could fall.
No destination, no intention of stopping or surviving,
knowing only that he must leave,
for there was nothing left to find.
Now that he had found the ruins of Paradise
and the bones of the last Angels…
there was nothing left to find.