Sedimentary rock forms by accumulating minerals and deposits, layer upon layer of hours wedged into stone. In this layer the day you got your period, in this one your son’s graduation, in this one your mother’s last breath. How the past is pressed into you, each layer single but separate, colored with ache and consequence. The day you got your period, you felt the grip of it. When your son graduated from college, the weight clutched your neck, but at your mother’s last breath, the years crushed you like a boulder. Moss gathers then escapes as you crumble, regret ringing like crystals that lay hidden until freed by pick or split. A mass of past tense clustered in you like a geode, shimmering. How wondrous to live like a stone, your dull exterior never betraying your chaos.
Donna Vorreyer is the author of To Everything There Is (2020), Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (2016), and A House of Many Windows (2013), all from Sundress Publications. Her work has appeared in Rhino, Tinderbox Poetry, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, Waxwing, and other journals, and she serves as an associate editor for Rhino Poetry. Recently retired from 36 years in public education, she looks forward to new adventures.