I think of how you helped to lug
that big green river stone, and filled
your coat with smaller ones for me.
A soft jade-green, and shot with white
inclusions, cumbering that Tyrol
riverbed downstream, it beckoned
with green and softness; how it seemed
at once to glint and weep, but was
a trick of water in the light.
The stones were heavy, hard to hold.
I slid the big one, like a great
bear’s paw or flattened heart, beneath
the front car seat. We carried it
a thousand miles of highway home.
Our only walk together, most days
you skied. I wandered off alone,
my steps a metronome of tears
that fell on fresh-bared earth, and pocked
the scabs of grey indifferent snow.
The year of tears. I cried a year.
Always alone; in buses, bed,
at night, at love. And no one saw.
I wonder now if I ran out.
The stone is here, gone grey. No place
to put it now. It presses down
on books, with only one side seen.
Complete fool’s errand. In a bowl,
the small ones rest in drier comfort,
no longer scattered shining on
that riverbed, below dark peaks,
whose endless, flowing rivulets
had held me there, and had me fooled.
Susan de Sola’s poems have appeared in many venues, such as the Hudson Review and PN Review, and in anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2018. She is a winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize and the Frost Farm Prize. She holds a PhD in English from the Johns Hopkins University and has published essays and reviews as Susan de Sola Rodstein. Her photography is featured in the chapbook Little Blue Man. A native New Yorker, she lives near Amsterdam with her family.
Her new collection Frozen Charlotte is now available from Able Muse Press.