Stones Overturned


Turning over stones. Walking, turning over stones, a lucky find, some labyrinth of ants, sodden hollows, a world. Beneath feet, under the mallow and umbrella plants, beneath the thorny bulwark bramble, blackberries, thistle, sumac. Below the canopy, below the breath of Earth, below the stars. This small world exposed and sullen, enraged but benign. Drawn off cover and scurry. How small, how they swiftly slide.

To this moment I meant nothing to their realm. They endeavored in darkness, excavated, extracted earth to be put aside, in peace built a life and society. Built a world under stone and were happy to live beneath a weight they could not lift. Which I hefted. And became a character in their writing. That time, when the lid to the world was lifted. Deity? Maybe that’s what they say. If so, a confused or vengeful one. Since at least a part of their world still adhered to the bottom of the stone, I tried to lay it straight. I could not.

It was a puzzle I could not crack. I was puck, or some other meandering, adolescent god, blithely rearranging their passages. Was more troubled then I let on, rotating, grinding avenues in my gross maladjustments, trying to place the stone back in its shadow. I have no tender touch. I have a thousand enemies.

And they march, I know, in lines of uncountable legs. Fomented resolve they stand, bastion of self determination, piling higher in grams, ants, a writhing offensive stacking just beyond the swing of my front door. They march, and form, and wait. Asleep, I will dream of my victory; I will shower in the morning.



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