The Stone-Spinners


Books stretch along the wall
   In the quiet room.
   At your feet lie
Rounded-by-the-sea-stones.
Still holding the rolling sound,
  Of the returning tide,
  Like shells,
In their longing for the sea.
 
The way a broken heart longs
  After a time for love.
For love and loss
  Are at the heart of
Rounded-by-the-sea-stones.
 
In the river between us
  I spin flat stones.
You send each one back
  Curving the trajectory
With the scallop-shape
  Of your hand.
 
Each stone cuts the surface
In a flash of skips and turns.
  We move along
  The river-bank
With the grace of Greek youths
Throwing discus or javelin.
 
Stone-spinning stops
When one sinks slowly
To the sandy bottom.
  Over time
Amber underbelly water
Moulds the sinkers into
Rounded-by-the-river-stones
And offers them to the sea.
For movement and stillness
  Are at the bottom of
Rounded-by-the-river-stones.
 
In the quiet room,
With the river flowing between us
We come to know stones.
Igneous. Sedimentary. Metamorphic.
Sisyphus. Oedipus. Artemis.

 

                        Anne O’ Malley