Child's Park Stones


In sunless air, under pines

Green to the point of blackness, some

Founding father set these lobed, warped stones

To loom in the leaf-filtered gloom

Black as the charred knuckle-bones


Of a giant or extinct

Animal, come from another

Age, another planet surely. Flanked

By the orange and fuchsia bonfire

Of azaleas, sacrosanct


These stones guard a dark repose

And keep their shapes intact while sun

Alters shadows of rose and iris ---

Long, short, long --- in the lit garden

And kindles a day's-end blaze


Colored to dull the pigment

Of azaleas, yet burnt out

Quick as they. To follow the light's tint

And intensity by midnight

By noon and throughout the brunt


Of various weathers is

To know the still heart of the stones:

Stones that take the whole summer to lose

Their dream of the winter's cold; stones

Warming at core only as


Frost forms. No man's crowbar could

Uproot them: their beards are ever-

Green. Nor do they, once in a hundred

Years, go down to drink the river:

No thirst disturbs a stone's bed.