A family like the large slabs of slate
which pattern my walk, are the typed
letters that together form the story on a page;
filled with secrets, like clover pushing through cracks
trying to break through to face the sun, the weight
of stone cannot keep the seed buried for long.

The bumps and rough edges, a fabric of character,
make each individual stone stand on its own
yet always a part of the whole, weathered with time
to ever change in shape and color, chipped at the corners
or new applications of cement – the blood that keeps
it whole as the caretaker endlessly tends his estate.

Look with wondering eyes, see how the rain deepens
the stones’ colors, the passing cloud ripples across its face
the shadows of the observer sway and bend light;
little pools, that reflect the moment, conceal abundant life
that comes and goes with the seasons, collecting dust,
step tenderly this walk as again I sweep it clean.

– Previously published 1993