The Stone Mason
He builds from local rocks that come to handó
craggy, irregular, or water-wornó
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.
1997; originally printed in The Christian Science
Reprinted by permission of the author.