FROM TERWILLIGER HOT SPRINGS

by Joseph BruChac

Those four stones I plucked
from the deep bottom
of the hottest pool
of its healing waters
disintegrated in my pocket
soon after I was back in the car,
sifting like salt
through my fingers.

Explain that by saying
they were not really rocks
but concretions of minerals
grinding themselves
down into pebbles
and grains of dust
as they dried.

Or even better, perhaps,
say this
that they were not
what I was meant to keep.