We’d walked a while, and stopped
at a high place over the lake
and talked, and then fell quiet.
You found a few small stones,
crept down to the bluff’s edge
and one by one, tossed in
each stone, with a thought unsaid.
A wish? a prayer? a promise?
I never knew, but in your gentle
bearing read your care,
and thanked you in my heart.
Two years later, the lake was drained.
Its muddy bed went dry and hard,
and then it cracked.
The lake I’d circled countless times
without you, I now walked across,
found a slew of shells in each crevasse.
Cleansed, arranged on the window sill
and awash in today’s last light,
their concentric colors shine,
vibrant as stained glass, still
resonating ripples of your silent
Nice work, Barbara–all four!