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C K Tower

Graduating To Wet Stones

First published in Eclectica Vol. 1, No. 2, 1997

I will be twenty-six in July.  But you,
barely twenty-one, will still be young
for another year or two.  We sit and watch 
water stroking sand-  a restless petting:  
Small stones tossed up from their gritty boudoir, 
ride the foam, nestle in irregular piles, lie still 
and washed.

I recall the last time you were here and I 
was not.  No summer thrills, but plenty of shock;
they politely call it therapy.  I could almost smell 
the brine on the cardboard scenery you'd sent me.  
And when they said I might never share the Pacific  
with you again I, being a shade more stubborn 
than weak, pushed back the death dreams.  

I can tell you what they will never know:  The cures, 
the drugs, every book-smart psychiatrist's plan 
to evaporate a deluged psyche, none 
make a moment so clear, as these wet, 
simple stones freeing themselves.