Walking with you is a test,
always stopping to gather
rocks, shells, shards of sea glass.
Palm-sized stones, lifted from
wet sand and tidepools, adorn
the fence that rims our yard.
On the liners, the ocean’s sketched white runes
that swirl in riddles. You love the holeys best,
the meditation of placing your thumb
into rounded crevices, touching cool pockets
that water, time, and small crustaceans carve.
Last week, hiking in the desert, you stooped
to photograph moss and lichen that blanket boulders
in green and orange velvet, before pocketing
two tawny chunks of granite specked with white.
It’s what you’ve done since I’ve known you.
While I race to vistas – mind’s eye worrying
the past and forcing meaning – you stop
to watch time render stone
I stop with you.