Thursday, 5 September 2013

Geppetto finds the stone

Even a lonely man who
has never married, whose
only fragrant memory
ended in Venice,
suffers the need to bury
his loved ones.

Geppetto’s sister drowned
in her lover’s arms,
and while the lover held the body 
and wept in caricature, it was Geppetto
who dug the grave
and buried her bones.

It was while digging,
his tears weakening the soil,
letting the spade slide in
like a lover, that Geppetto found
the stone; a single stone
amidst the grit of earth.

Once a mountain, yet 
too warm to have reached 
such heights, a comet? A tear, perhaps,
from a fierce Goddess, 
shed when the fairest had fallen 
to lowly treachery?

Geppetto reached out his hand
and lifted free the stone,
defyied gravity, disregarded
the strange stares
of his sister’s lover
and her gathered friends.

After he studied the stone
for a moment, while
the crowd murmured and fidgeted,
he plopped it
into his white shirt pocket;
felt the weight of it match his heart.

He kept the stone as company
through evenings and days
as a marker to
his sister’s memory, not knowing
that its proximity to his sadness
instigated change.

Under the weight of his heartbeat,
the stone began to believe
it was a seed
and waited with the patience of rock
for the log
to give it birth.

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