Scent of pine straw, wood and leaves
burning in my fireplace.
This “sit and stare time” relieves
me from the daily race.
Mesmerized as the night fire heaves,
within the flames I see your face.
I turn my gaze to the hearth.
The one we built with stones
you collected from when we joined our hearts
until you reached the catacombs.
From floor to ceiling our mantle marks
our life with these collected stones.
The base stone — heavy, large and strong
I kneel upon, ignite the nightly blaze.
Together we placed this base along
the wall to last us all our days.
Reminiscent of your passion strong,
and faithfulness to me always.
Upon this base, two cobblestones
more flat than they are round,
both half the width of th’ understone
lay across the stone upon the ground.
And like our smaller wedding stones,
mark us two as one forever bound.
From thence rise high up to the peak
a thousand stones — circled, smooth and small.
I listen close to each one speak
of Goliaths slain by all.
Individually placed not so neat,
but as a mosaic, they do enthrall.
Above the fire, level with the eye
three middle stones extend beyond the rest.
My gaze now on these center stones, I
rest in being truly blessed.
We raised these stones then let them fly
unto their own memorial nests.
Upon these mezo-stones there be
six smaller versions of the same.
These smaller stones sit loose and free.
For each, I have a special name.
A special name, each has for me,
and call my gaze back to the flame.
This fire I build here every night
and fix a gaze on every stone.
My practice since your final flight
you took to our “Forever Home.”
These stones that shine the fire’s light
soothe my soul. I’m not alone.
© Dr. Phil Bryant