Rocks We Bring Home
by Daniel Henry


There are few still rattling under car seats,
the rest sit on window ledges or dressers covered in dust.
Sandstone from Moab, a quartz pebble from
the bed of the Colorado, flint from Chase County Kansas,
the fist-sized granite
you pulled from Goose Pond in New Hampshire.

As I picked them up, sparkling and wet,
windblown in the desert, or covered with the black earth
of a Michigan forest I always think, “There, I can bring
home this place, this day, this hour.”

Sometimes I think of the weeks after I die,
my children or someone else
going through the stained ties, warped
records and broken computers. They look at each
other and shake their heads with the ridiculousness
of the piles of hats and old books.

The stones are the first things tossed
casually into the trash pile beside the Goodwill clothes.

For now I cannot bear to be the one to get rid of them,
ordinary in their dry dullness,
but heavy with memory,
and warm in my hand
that moves to surround them
and clutches them a little too strongly,
as my grandfather shook my hand
the last time I stood in his doorway.






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