Allan Peterson

A Reflex Happens

A small boy approaches the edge of a lake
and a reflex happens:
a wide selection of stones gathers.
He throws one because he’s supposed to
seeing a lake, and because stones
are supposed to be there.
It leaves his hand in a long arc.
He throws as far as he can
into the moment’s expectation.
This has happened so frequently
the surface where it hits only shrugs
into circles of yawns.
We are so sure of the common,
so sure with no evidence but history,
that the predictable will happen again,
that the hurled stone really goes to the bottom
and not just disappears striking water,
that the child pushed on the swing will return
as the same child, though its feet have touched clouds.

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