“Just a rock,” I say, about to hurl the small boulder into the rapids.
I take her in my hands, feel the jagged Z, the break
from her ancient Earth layer
sharp edge, sleek side
shades of azure, cerulean blue (or is it green?), veins of gray
moving into black
gleaming in the late afternoon haze.
I bring her to my cheek, close my eyes, inhale
remnants of time before time
sense the searing melting plasmic heat
of her birth oozing thick, building, rising, spewing and folding
blasting she reaches the surface
for the first time after a billion years in the belly of her mother
Earth, who welcomes her, wraps her in a blanket of snow and rain.
I press her to my ear, “You hold me old,” she whispers
“When I was young I pierced the clouds, nourished by sun
Green growth verdant lushness tickled my body—hawk lived on me, soared
talons grasping furry breakfasts for his mate
In the midnights I watched my ancestors light the sky—rapture—I’m told a star
in the long ago
burst and in its dying splendor gave our mother life.”
Just for a moment, I brush her with my lips
feel her sculped by churling waters slammed and shaped
by lost limbs of gnarly mountain pines
clasp the bank with tired elemental fingers until zapped by summer storms’ electric strikes
her feeble grip pried loose by a
finally dislodged, letting go, falling
onto the river’s bank below
where I found her.
“Just a rock,” I said, reaching . . .