Rocks

I’ve gathered rocks

all my life,

like friends, I’ve cherished,

treasured, kept safe

and warm in boxes,

on shelves,

pockets, purses, desks.

Some live in my garden,

nestled among rainbows of flowers

and textures of luscious leaves

of radiant greens and silvered fronds.

I’ve had little girl rocks

that fit my tiny hand,

smooth, dark, rounded,

shiny, sparkly, layered

in fine colors that mimic

the pictures I see of space.

My rocks are tiny pieces

of the universe put here and there

for me to find.

There was a boy who was blind

in third grade, and no one played

with him at recess,

so I did.

He showed me his Braille typewriter,

and we sat on the ground outside

on the river stones,

and he would tap his hands,

eyes moving wildly unseeing,

and he would smile his

crooked smile, tousled blond hair

shining in the sun.

Tap, tap, he would feel the rock

and loudly announce

“granite,”

and I would say,

“I think its quartz”

and he would say,

“nope, granite.”

“You’re right,” I’d say,

even though it was quartz,

and he would giggle and

pick up the next rock.

I love rocks.  I loved them

so much when I was little

I put the prettiest ones in

my wagon and went around the

neighborhood to sell them.

No one would buy them.

I couldn’t make any money.

I told my father,

“the whole world has bad breath.”

I was so mad.

They were fine rocks.  The best.

I still have boxes and buckets

of rocks from all over,

telling myself I will never

leave them like I did when

I moved.  Left behind my

childhood rocks.

Each tied to a memory,

a place, a time,

each a capsule of imagination

as much as a history of ancient life

stored forever in

a mystery of layered

wonder,

like little worlds

all unto themselves.

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