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Stones

I place a small
stone on my father’s
marker flat to the ground
to say, your memory lasts
solid and enduring.

I place a small
stone on my father’s
marker flat to the ground
to say, rest peacefully
no need to ache and wander.

I place a small
stone on my father’s
marker flat to the ground
to say, this pebble, your name,
is carried in God’s sling

as long ago the stones of shepherds
tallied with the numbers
of the flock for safe-keeping
across mountain tops. I catch
strains of an ancient song as 

I place a small
stone on my father’s
marker flat to the ground, that says,
There are men with hearts of stone
and stones with hearts of men.