Poetry / November 2012 (Issue 19)

Five Stones

by Rachael Lum

There once was a mountain, they say,
shattered into stone. Little girls
could only hold five in their hands
when they wanted to play.
Keep them for your children.
And these remnants in pockets kept
for another day remind them
of hopscotch and marbles and spinning tops
that curved up their lips when they wept.
Keep them for your children:
The hiding and seeking, the fire and ice,
the spirits that shattered the mountain to stone,
watch kites thread the air and fighting fish fight;
second by second paying the price –
Keep them for your children,
sew beans into pretty bags the way
little girls did. Dress them in
scented pouches. Like rubber seeds. Or dolls.
Keep these remnants, if you may.
Keep them for your children.
My little girl, I am growing old.
It is your turn to tell stories of
shattered mountains and pockets full of stones.
Promise me this when my hands are cold.
Keep them for your children.
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ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.