Small stones and marathons

This pleasing oval is pure black, but flimsy.

This one has weight, but is dull.

A vein of quartz encircles this one like a fallen halo

Slipped over its shoulders.

No small stone is perfect.

No small stone from me yesterday, though I did spend four hours in a writing marathon, where the only sounds were prompts being read, work being shared and crisps being munched. One of the prompts was “at night I listen to the crickets naming their griefs, and let an ancient peace enter me” – this is my response:

After grief, peace.

After peace, grief.

The needle flicking across the dial.

Within grief, peace,

Rising from the skin like smoke from the crematorium chimney.

Within peace, grief,

Glancing up at photos of what has been and remains to be lost.

For no reason, she may look up from her phone to find the train

Is passing the chemical works at night.

Fairy lights strung on the flare stacks.

It looks like the future.

It smells like cancer.

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