tin pail once overflowing with river stones

the boy stood facing the dark

summer wind tugging his t-shirt

cowlicks wild in his silhouette.

he held a tin pail filled with stones

he and the girl holding his other hand

had found in a creek earlier that day.

he lowered the pail of stones

onto grass now between them

and each took a stone in hand.

they let each other go

and stepped apart

still side by side and facing the dark

stones danced in their palms

summer wind ebbed and flowed

in waves; a dry tide

‘this is for eli,’ said the boy,

snapping his arm forward

and flinging the stone he’d held.

‘this is for my fear,’ said the girl

wild curls alive during her follow-through

as her stone flew up and away.

‘for scarlett.’

‘for chance.’

‘for my family.’

‘for my family.’

‘for you.’

‘for you.’

the pail once overflowing

with river stones

stood near empty between boy and girl

the dark before them

once total and absolute

shattered glass at their feet.

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