White, smooth, weather polished stones.
My grandmother and I collected them in the park
behind my house. Or rather she watched me
as I chose each one, somehow instinctively,
and placed it in my pocket.
I’m not sure on what merits I made my choices,
which to leave by the gnarled oak tree
and which to plant on each side of me.
I felt sorry for all the orphan rocks and wanted to take them all.
But choosing one means leaving another,
and perhaps they chose me anyway.
Some were tiny like bird eggs.
Some were larger like the cobblestones
used as ballast before paving the downtown streets.
With these, I would fill my pockets until I could hardly move,
almost doubling my weight with rubble.
I would sway with the weight of the mounds.
I have kept these stones since that day,
lining my pockets with their heavy affection.
Sometimes they have kept me from floating away.
Sometimes they have caused me to drown.