Back 40: A Stone For You


I picked it up in the sunlit shallows
of the Kootenai River. An irresistible purple,
although later, you detected a hint of pink
when we submerged it into a bucket of water.

You saw then the transformational
power of water. That lifeless dull can be brought
back to dazzle. Like a gris-gris I want
you to keep it. Not for luck, but to remember

other wonders we have shared. Rainbows,
thunder, waterfalls, fawns. And to remember
our conversations about clouds and rain, and why
moss clings to tree, and why pine nuts, the Clark’s

nutcracker, squirrels and bears depend upon one
another, and why we don’t waste water or pick wild
flowers or take short cuts on a well-marked trail.

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