A Bounty of Rocks

BY Andrew Jones


I.
As a child, you selected the roundest ones,
polished them between your dry summer palms,
and pitched them to your siblings
waiting to swing a yellow plastic bat.

II.
In a story, you marveled how one man
could carry a smooth pebble in his cheek
while the soldiers under him perished in war,
while he thought of the girl he loved.

III.
Low tide along the Mumbles coast
revealed a moist beach full of protruding
shells, twigs, seaweed, and slick stones.
You tucked the smoothest in your pocket
as a charm for the long journey home.

IV.
Hiding from a gusty Pacific wind
you ventured into the cold water of a secluded cove,
the tide reaching the hem of your skirt,
and claimed a jagged rock from beneath your step
as a token for your new life.

V.
In a bleak kitchen we sift through a bag
of gravel and sand scooped from a Montana river bed.
Dripping warm tap water over the grainy clumps
reveals tiny sapphires—pink, clear, light blue.
We gather our humble gems to dry
on a paper towel, before stashing them
in our wooden box filled with stones—
the other container of bounties and treasures.

 

Ghost Ocean
3

 

Andrew Jones currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where he works as an editor for a textbook publisher. He is a graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. His writing has appeared in publications such as Farmhouse Magazine, Poetry Midwest, Tattoo Highway, and Red River Review, among others.