[38] Faces in the Stones, D.A. Gray

We give a dollar when we pass
And hope our eyes don’t meet’
Mary Chapin Carpenter ‘Stones in the Road’

Stones flew from my wheels when I left.
People I knew got smaller, ‘til everyone
looked like gravel.
Was a time we’d drive
past the line where folks went for a cup
of soup and some day old bread
that snaked around the parking lot
or Riley’s Bakery. Above us, the Red,
White and Blue water tower loomed
over the thirsty.
We learned young
to avert our eyes ‘Be civil,’ was our rule.

‘The land of milk and honey’ someone said;
then honey turned hard, the milk went sour.

No one seemed real back then, stones
in the side of the road where boards
covered the windows, the insides
gone hollow like cottonwoods.

And even the moon hung by a thread.

Some sleepless nights they come back,
when I’m wondering how it got like this.
I come back to where I never thought
I would―try to unlearn what I learned.

My god, I think, there’s faces in the stones.

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