Steady rain beats rhythm to
My footsteps, brief dark marks
On graveled beach;
Low clouds with seeming purpose
Roll across an empty sky.
I chance upon a boulder, rounded, old
And smooth, an accidental presence
Marking time in different terms.
On its side, a childish script says:
Paul and Marie, forever, etched inside
A rough-hewn heart.
Wind seems to gust up colder here,
Preying on this fragile wish,
This blindly hopeful talisman
Against time and pain and loss.
I must walk on, reluctantly,
But there are echoes in the wind
Of this shining proclamation
On an ancient stone.