a stone in a river, 12

Your bookkeeping has given way, numbers tumbling like the Yahtzee dice. You 76, at the 5-year survival mark, turned over the checkbook — can’t subtract anymore — and now little black dots send signals you know you should know. The score isn’t what it should be.

/ / /

/ / /

Happy birthday, dear Mother. (Ed/ note: I moved this from the prose lines.)

a stone in a river, 11

After the burn, rain. Soon rivulets will stream steep slopes, swamp creeks with dark ash. But for now the still forest is yet needled sepia, a ghost. The ground a carpet of smoke. One standing fir bark-stripped: Jesus on the Mount, hands at his sides. One valley over, two elk cows graze a green-fringed streambed.
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a stone in a river, 10

We turn over the family stories again & again, a reunion of witnesses to crimes we participated in, an Aha! to new data. Each others’ versions more archaeology than telephone game. A blood version of rock-flipping. The kinship of I never knew, of I never knew you knew.

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It is frustrating to write with my so-called smart phone. I will revise to include some italics. As well as the missing meat. Had a great time catching up with a favorite cousin. Wish this stone captured it better.

(Added the italics I wanted, post publish date.)

a stone in a river, 8

Drunk men stand too close & ask for direction. Passive-aggressive, I say no. Then tell them to cross the tracks. They look native, sepia skin, narrow sun-slit eyes. I was born here, too, twice. Then flew. Died my hair. Bought sunglasses to lose. Assumed a damp identity covered with a thousand mosses.

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