This Stone and That Wide Ocean
for Doaa, Gaza
Yes, this stone, this one, and again
the one just there beyond that aspen,
you stepped across, but on that one,
there, with layered rust and gray, you
caught the toe of the boots you borrowed.
And then you ran, laughing, beautiful
in your childlike joy among the pine,
the stately red ponderosa and juniper.
On another trail, through heavy snow,
you stumbled, slid, and fell and rose
and fell again and rose and fell again.
You rejoiced for the ice against your wrists,
the sharp air biting your cheeks, for this
was worship in a new mosque, a new
heaven, and for us, a new voice, welcome
in the choir of our own cathedral.
On this stone, resting like a park bench
beneath the leafless aspen branches,
we sat and talked, the white vapor
of our breath mingling and vanishing.
We spoke of your leaving, the month,
the day, the joy and sorrow of that hour,
our voices merging with the stream
that spilled down to the river valley below.
We did not speak of that wide ocean.