©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts
I found a quartzite scraper in my potato patch
Say it was lost in the timeless maze
By the owner of some brown hand
Who could not have imagined
The passing of all those groves.
Yet some southward facing glades still lie
Where the slanting October sun once struck
The white of deftly moving stone,
Here all confused and juxtaposed,
The scraper hand, the potato patch,
The deer that scorns the fences and the roads.
The rock chert (or flint), which is almost always associated with limestone, was common at my Wisconsin home, as it is also on our Virginia farm, since both occur on limestone bedrock. In Wisconsin it was much used by Native Americans to make arrowheads and other implements. However, unlike Wisconsin, Virginia lies in an area where mountain building has profoundly folded and fractured the rock, and especially so at our farm, which lies on the great Pulaski-Staunton fault. The result is that the chert on our Virginia farm is so weakened by tiny fractures as to make it useless for implements. Thus Natives, including those living on our chert-rich farm, were required to look for other materials. They apparently found these in the less profoundly fractured quartzite ( metamorphosed sandstone ) of the nearby Blue Ridge.