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River Stones

I would like to pick up river stones
and find your likeness in them:
worn smooth, multicolored, still
glistening with cold water.

     But you are not like river stones.
You are like stones before the river has
worn them: rough-spurred and chalky,
your colors hidden under yourself, dry
and thirsting for cold water.

One stone is not better than the other.
One is beautiful for the colors erosion
has coaxed out of it. The other,
because it thirsts to be weathered.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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