The Maynard
Spring 2016

Onjana Yawnghwe

Gleaning Stones

We walk the path
between water, sand, stone
grey waves continually licking
never wishing for sifted southern sands
never for the swelling air of flowered heat.

Side by side, papa and I
feet nudged by cold water
sea water intensifying pebble colours
looking down and joyful lurching
dropping stones into pockets.

He disappears quickly
in that touch between
water and wave

I stand alone on shore.

this egg-shaped stone:
          the colour of newborn grass
               skin of a tight orange.

See this pebble, flat and round
          the size of three fingertips squeezed together
     being black crow feather alighted by the sun
               smooth as inner thigh skin.

A red square stone the length of a thumb:
          touch spilt-open ridged end to end
               like thick blood.

A stone for your silence
a stone in your throat
the first clutching stone,
the hole in your eye
in the year of your death.

Over the shoulder and into the sea,
the bandages are removed from your head.
Bloodied skin and bruised stapled smile
Stones of fire, no wish will come.

Passed hand to hand,
the stone in your brain
cannot speak to your eroding body.
A stone to the heart.

A collection of stones
and no metallic hope.
Stones your beginning and your end.
The cut skull of your future.

Papa, dear papa
stones under my bed
and under my pillow
stones in the fountain:
your life for a stone.