The wall around Dad’s house is pale and crumbling stone.
Once on a visit I found out
he was having it rebuilt, and behind the house
sat a pile of abandoned rocks, large and small
that he was selling off, a ton at a time.


At the back of the garden near the old shed
he had placed one big stone, a giant he’d found,
I don’t remember where, that stood four feet tall.
He’d buried its base so it held upright,
looking like a monument, old and primal.


Joking about, I suggested painting it
and he said no, you can’t do that… and I saw in his face
even joking about it went against the satisfaction
it gave him – an old stone standing in the ground,
ageless and unnamed, set up for its own sake.