Hold the pebble in your hand.
Black, like the inside of a tree,
smooth and round, so like an egg,
lacking but the vital egg-form
that offers up its roundness
to give a bird wings.
There is some solidarity in the garden.
A thousand of these round, black pebbles
huddle together, silent in the dread
of being removed, suffering the endless fear
of that final loss that would break them.
For each shining black pebble,
the one as big as your fist,
and the smaller one that you
skipped across the pond--it sank--
each shining black stone remembers life,
remembers the burning fire,
the fertility of the earth,
the chilling breath of air,
the pain of crystal formation
like first love, a change,
a choice, never forgotten--
hot molten stone bound in devotion,
in covenent, to a completion of stone,
part of the greatest whole, pulsing
to the geothermal heartbeat of earth,
until the betraying liquidity of the
rain, endless waves of the sea,
or the subtle knife of ice twisted it free,
plunged it into a river that caressed it,
shaping it in oolitic mockery
of the rounded curves of life,
so that someday, the symmetry of the garden
would bring these fellow sufferers together,
morning dew the only sign of their sorrow.