(For JKS    1947 – 2022)

I knock at the stone’s front door.
”It’s only me, let me come in…
…I don’t have much time.
My mortality should touch you.”
Wislawa Szymborska

I’m not sitting beside you
But on top of you
in my writing chair
Perched on a flat stone’s turtle back
                like a green heron
                in the middle of Five Lick Creek
                waiting for a crayfish morsel    
                to reveal itself
A morsel that contains
                the oversized claw
                of my obsessed mind
I know this stone is You
Not like Jesus’ stale bit of bread
But You
                in the molecules
                in the tiniest grains
                of this limestone promontory
You are the Prime Design
                of this singular stone
                with its raised fossils
                and curious hieroglyphics 
I don’t have to read You
                hear You, see You, smell You,
                taste you, feel You
In this stone You are here
You seep into me
I seep into You;
It’s one of those tricks of space & time
The play of dark & light
The play of how you were true
                 and ruthless and dependable

I didn’t know You had died
                 in October of Twenty Twenty-Two
The news came much later
                 from no person or tree or rock
But from the far off nebula of google
                 after You hadn’t responded to my calls
I still don’t know how you died
You were fine and strong and full of plans
                 the last time we talked
Perhaps you didn’t die, maybe google
                 made it up

It makes no difference
For I have spent this morning with You
                 doing what we’ve always done
Hanging out by the creek
                 with your music
                 and my poetry
Sharing some of our thoughts    
                 keeping others to our selves
Until at the end of the day
A great storm will come out of the west
And this babbling brook will rise up
Into a great torrent
To sweep us away