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The Stone Mason

By Jan Schreiber / November 12, 1997

He builds from local rocks that come to hand -

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craggy, irregular, or water-worn -

and guided by a form he has in mind

but nothing like a plan, nothing so stern.

Colors and sizes join haphazardly

except for some that draw themselves together;

some likely stones he has to throw away,

a few so small they are not worth the bother.

And gradually the thing materializes,

assumes the shape he'd say he worked to build

although the details harbor some surprises

and there are places where he'd say he failed.

A century from now all will be changed

except the pile of rocks that he arranged.