Sunday, March 3, 2013

Playing With Stones

When I carry her home each evening
from the park playground swing, she pleads with me
to let her walk on the bed of smooth stones
at the front of our apartment building.
She wants to find individual stones
and put them in her wide pocket, then place
the same stones along a row of large rocks.
I would like us to stay as we are now
within the flowering and flowing gold
gaze of the sun’s late rays. And suddenly
I imagine a day when she is old.
As if I were her child and she was soon
to be gone, I begin to grieve for her,
little mother, my daughter. Carrying
her shepherdess’s bag filled with her stones,
one for each sheep in her flock, already
she is keeping count for when it is night
and she brings the sheep into the stone fold, 
already she is asking that they all
be kept in the great invisible scrip.
The tears she comes to cry for those she loves,
the tears others who love her cry for her,   
will stray and go lost, so she places stones
one by one on flat rock, stones that are tears
she gathered as they rolled out of the sun. 

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