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I came upon a cairn of stones

on a gray autumn morn, when

bored with the main road,

I wandered away into the woods.

The perfect symmetry of four

stones to each side rising to

one in a pyramid reminded

me of the time we buried a

friend during a rebellion against

forces greater and stupider than

our own, and you told me while

I wracked with uncontrollable

sobbing that a time would come

when we would meet again—

you, me, our friend and the

others in a place that was

neither heaven nor hell nor

afterlife requiring painful

stretches of belief but life itself,

here, and the peace we would

embrace in this beguiling new

world would dissolve all prophecies

and myths of suffering, leaving

only the natural bedrock of human

which was never a mistake or a

travesty, but the purest and

grandest expression of spirit

—and in that moment of resting

my hands against the cool

indentations of your voice, I looked

up and the space between trees filled

with your silhouette and his, and I

heard the strumming of the chords

of the future we had designed and

promised to each other, coming to

life around this sweet cairn of stones.


© Elaine Stirling, 2012