Strong

You gave me a box of rocks
for my 30th birthday.
30 rocks in a pocket sized box,
tied together with a ribbon.
You brought them back from the coast of California.
a coast staggered with pine trees, fault lines
the ghost of john Steinbeck
my history
and acres of vineyards.
You told me each rock represents a
year that you have survived,
and all I could see was a little monument to the pieces of me
that died each winter, marking solid thoughts-

misguided respect on misunderstood tombstones-
You told me that you are strong
but not like the rocks
like water
picking one up- You asked me
how big the rock was once before the water got a hold of it,

how long the water worked it until it washed up on the shore
and to think of the strength it took to mold its current shape.
Again, You say-
you are strong like water
a strength you don’t even know that you possess-
strong

like water.

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