by Kristi Shelloner
I gave my rocks a haircut today,
the silver blades of my scissors,
the ones with the pink handle,
flashed in the sun,
while the green hairs of grass
fell all around me in big soft piles.
Tomorrow the piles will be brown.
I have to give my rocks a haircut
every few weeks. The grass grows
in between them and around them,
until the rocks think they’re invisible.
They like to be seen.
We have rocks around the garden,
they hug the area where strawberries grow, low and close to the ground;
where raspberries grow on tall, stickery bushes;
the rocks make a little wall that helps me know where to mow
and where not to mow.
We have rocks around the fire pit,
where we build toasty fires on cold winter nights,
and roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the summer.
But rocks need tending,
just like toenails,
and little kids’ hair,
and little kids’ ears,
that sometimes look themselves
like they might grow strawberries,
they have so much dirt in them.
Rocks don’t squirm, though,
or squiggle, or yell if you clip to close to their skin,
or cry if you cut their hair in a way they don’t like.
They just sit there in the sun, getting warm,
and making nice borders around an area where a person
might like to have nice borders.
I like my rocks,
even though they don’t do a very good job
of keeping the chickens out of the garden;
the chickens just hop right on over those rocks
anytime they see a juicy bug they want to eat.
I like to look at my rocks,
feel their warmth in the sun
and check out the bugs and worms that hide underneath.
That’s why I give my rocks a haircut,
take care of them and tend to them:
because I like them, and they like me.
Note: Among Native Americans, rocks are people too! They are the
storytellers; they contain the history of the world in their ancient forms.
The special rocks, used in sweathouses are our grandfathers and grandmothers
and represent the primoridal connection between all things; whether we
consider them to be organic or inorganic is immaterial. If you listen very
carefully to a rock, it will tell you something you need to know!