In Praise of Stones
For many years I’ve collected stones,
From beaches, at the bottom of cliffs,
Along country roads, or in fields
Where they pop up like mushrooms,
Hosts of them. Every stone is different,
One of a kind, just as every human being
Is different. But some are more interesting
Than others, more eye-catching,
For whatever reason. We walk over
Hundreds, thousands, or skip right by,
Then suddenly, one of them, perhaps
As large as our fist, perhaps so small
It’s a wonder we noticed, makes us stop
And look again, just one of them, among all
The others. Something attracts us, in a way
That we’d find hard to explain, if pressed.
It could be that it’s perfectly round,
Or that it’s heart-shaped, or egg-shaped.
It could be the unusual color, or the fancy
Markings, or the fact that we can see
Faint traces of a fossil, whether real
Or imagined. It could be the weight of it,
Or the feel of it in the palm of the hand.
It’s this one we want, and no other.