The Conversation by John Perrault

The Conversation

From my long walk around the point
over the high crags and shingled beaches,
over the slick outer boulders
edging the low-tide lip of the bay,
I hiked back with a pair of cold stones,
one in each of my trouser pockets.

Gray with garnet threads, and worn away
to smoothness by tumbling in the sea for eons,
their surfaces were comforting to touch--
they felt as if made for human hands
to hold, for human palms to weigh them,
warm them, with fingers closing round.

I handed them to her without a word
about our argument--about my taking off;
she placed them on the table by the lamp
and turned away--then she turned again.
We pulled up chairs to study them together.
Waited. And the stones broke the silence.

John Perrault is a poet and balladeer and the author of The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse (Peter Randall Publisher, 2003) and Here Comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press, 2005) from which this poem is taken. He lives in North Hampton, NH. You may sample his poems and songs at http://www.johnperrault.com/ .

"The Conversation" is from Here Comes the Old Man Now, © John Perrault, 2005, published by Oyster River Press. John Perrault has all rights of re-publication. Photo by Kristen Perrault. Used here with the permission of the poet. All rights reserved.

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