Sea Pebbles: An Elegy

By Dana Gioia

My love, how time makes hardness shine.
They come in every color, pure or mixed
gray-green of basalt, blood-soaked jasper, quartz,
granite and feldspar, even bits of glass,
smoothed by the patient jeweller of the tides.
 
Volcano-born, earthquake-quarried,
shaven by glaciers, wind-carved, heat-cracked,
stratified, speckled, bright in the wet surf—
no two alike, all torn from the dry land
tossed up in millions on this empty shore.
 
How small death seems among the rocks. It drifts
light as a splintered bone the tide uncovers.
It glints among the shattered oyster shells,
gutted by gulls, bleached by salt and sun—
the broken crockery of living things.
 
Cormorants glide across the quiet bay.
A falcon watches from the ridge, indifferent
to the burdens I have carried here.
No point in walking farther, so I sit,
hollow as driftwood, dead as any stone.
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Pick Me Up Poetry seeks to be an agent of change in society by fostering cross-cultural dialogue and providing much-needed information and representation for writers and performers. We offer our followers insightful glimpses into cultures around the globe through various mediums including our online articles, poetry collections, spoken-word videos and more. 

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