A Stone's Throw

The still, the quiet—they invite memories:
Walking slowly, head bent, eyes down,
Searching for the perfect stone on the shore's edge.
The lake is cool and still.
Too light and there will be no distance
And the wind will take it;
Too heavy and it will likely sink too soon;
Solid and flat and smooth is best.
A decent candidate is found, scooped up,
And given a cursory examination:
It's not perfect, but definitely worth a throw.

Arm back, body twisted, as horizontal as possible
Without sacrificing any leverage,
Head cocked sideways, one eye shut.
Breath held for one moment
While the stone is released and watched.
Lost at first, the grey-blue stone against
The blue-grey water, then found with the first strike.
Jump. It is lost again; waiting for the second
Point of contact, to establish trajectory.
Pop. A good distance between the nodes—
A bit too much in fact; a bit less is preferred.
Exhale now, the base line is established. Will it bend?
Pap…pap…splatt-at-tat-tatter. The pattern was nice
And the grouping neat. Maybe nine hits, maybe ten.
A slight curve to the left,
Common with a right-handed throw.
The ripples, the rings—the edge of the first
Nearing the start of the last.
The stone—now sinking to its new, temporary home within
The lake—is recalled; its shape and weight and size
And feel in the hand all noted for subtle adjustments
That will be made with the next selection.
And the quality appreciated. Yes, it was
A good throw—not the best, not perfect—but it was good.

Parker Allen Stacy, IV

Copyright 2009 Parker Allen Stacy, IV. All Rights Reserved.

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