Mudlark No. 40 (2010)

The Stone Wall

I am coming to the end of something, I can feel it
like a bone that was useful in the past, that kept me
standing upright but is now like a toothpick
or a splinter dissolving in my blood—and although
I didn’t notice the changes at first,
recently I’ve found myself turning corners differently.
I hold my shoulders as though I were naked
even when I’m fully dressed, even in a winter coat,
without that small bone. And so I woke at dawn
because someone had left me, someone I hadn’t seen
for years. I got up and walked through the dark house
bumping into furniture as though I were gathering
flowers. It was that dark. Always underneath our feet
water is moving, and animals breathe
whatever we have just lost. So when the morning brightened,
I gathered the stones I’d collected on my journeys
and arranged on my windowsills. I carried them outside 
to make a small stone wall in the grass, without 
function. For no reason. And I waited there.

Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
Contents |  Loving a Good Woman