Stone #9

Here is where I ran back to, this room,

just as I’ve run back here now.

The shoes since gone but the box still here,

holding these nine stones.

#8 is here–the one I found the day after shattered glass

the one I’d found the day before  purple-yellow bruises

just outside the driveway,

when I said I’d wanted to be an archeologist

without the hat and whip;

since “rocks are my thing now”,

since “all I was doing was collecting them”

and not throwing them.

But evidence was what I’d collected,

evidence of the things I’d done bird death shattered window boys shouting laughing like father like son like father like

and the reasons why and the reasons why.

To face him…

To tell him…


I hid them under my bed

in a bag

in a closet.

In the end, he’d found them anyway. In the end, I got

my wish–

he beat

the shit out of me.

In a demented way He cares! it was all I could do from crying from joy.



I stood up and, without counting, bent down to retrieve the scattered stones. Snuck back into the closet, nestled between another shoebox (shoes) and a leather bag (the legacy of my adolescent literary career), it would stay

until I can tell my son about them and about this lesson-somewhere-there.  But not now:

a since-found memory of a confused and angry boy is no way to end the funeral of a father.




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