Because I’m tired of being angry
at the world, I take my son to the river
where we pick up rocks at the water’s edge—
both of us wrapped tight in Christmas
gifts, chest and arms warm
in this year’s already bitter weather.
We step in shallows
where cold water’s still clear, searching
through sediment for stones.
Here I teach him to choose
smooth, triangular stones—for stability,
how to weigh the rock by lifting it
up and down, up and down
in hands he will grow into:
Too heavy and the rock will sink;
too light and you’ll lose it in the wind.
Like David, the teenager minding sheep
for his father, picked rocks to protect his flock
from the lion or the bear—my boy listens,
learns what to keep and what to leave
buried in the mud. He already knows
that quickness, not strength, is key.
By the time he’s old enough to drive,
he’ll be an expert at skipping stones—
bending his arm just right,
balancing the flat rock’s perfect heft
between thumb and middle finger,
his index hooked along the edge, ready
to fling a pebble with all his might
into the face of giants.