Throwing Stones

by Jerome Brown

ed went to look for a phone.
i stayed behind with the car.
we were out west somewhere.
i walked the length of the car.
then i kicked at a stone, i picked it up,
i threw it as far as i could into a field.
i picked up another stone and threw that one.
i was content.
i searched for good stones,
then i turned my back to the road, and threw them.
there was an absentness i liked.

there was dirt, a car with a flat tire,
some sky, the field (i throw a stone),
some sun (i throw another).
it was a relief to be nowhere at all and unconcerned,
as if i’d always been there doing that.

there were very few cars on the road.
one came by that i remember.
it slowed down as it passed me,
the people inside watched me,
i looked at them,
i found a stone and threw it for them.

now i want you to exercise a little faith.
i’m not going to trick you.
surrender to the idea of a man standing on the side
of an unfamiliar road throwing stones.
remember, ed is looking for a phone,
he won’t be back for awhile.
we have nowhere to go,
stones are just stones,
don’t worry yourself beyond that.
i left eventually, you know that,
but be still for a moment.

i once stood by a road picking up stones,
i turned them in my fingers,
and threw them into a field, that’s all.
i watched the stones in the air,
briefly noted where they landed,
then i went on to another.
this went on for some time.

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