Stones for a Stairway

          (Solstice 2002)

from the creekbed
covered in grey silt
come up streaming water,
yellow quartz
shining like wet gold
in the leaf-speckled sun

When they know you're hunting them,
they stir up the muck
and hide under clouds of murk, sometimes even
under each other!
Don't they know what an honor it is
to be chosen for a step
in the children's stairway
down to the sandbar at the water's edge?

older than the most ancient
ancestor of my kind
carved from the oldest living
mountains on Earth,
welcoming the wet bare feet
of its newest inhabitants