Saturday, June 07, 2008

what remains

opening the rock with a hammerblow
fragments of white jasper chert and dolomite
skitter away across the tableland

suddenly it’s done: no more
sorting and carting, no more choosing
sides to be thrown aside, kept, given

finding stones in the basement
realizing I am not my family’s first collector of
rare and unusual geologic beauty
my mother kept perfect stones
as doorstops and regulators
ovoid hearts found next to boxes of candles
a veined gabbro block on a storeroom shelf
living alone in the broken darkness

and suddenly it’s done: no more
boxes to sort, move, store, put away
just bills to pay, new arrangements to gather in

and in the garage more stones found
geodes pregnant with mystery, unopened
shimmering mica panes flash in the afternoon light
and clusters of black-speckled rough granites

my own collection of stones
gathered in the mountains that first summer
I traveled there to study

this gathering of stones, these gardens
of stone: I came by this habit most naturally
from mother to son to garden of memory

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