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One could do worse than an unmarked stone.
In leaf time it looks even more gray
and in the snow
who knows how covered it could remain.

No one to visit and no one to know.
The noon sits down on every stone
the same. Hard noon,
hot stone. You have to touch it to know.

It could be in any yard at all.
One could do worse
than have it here,
and leave it unvisited most of all.

The rain has no object, it falls and falls.
One could do worse some lost spring
to be in love,
love someone most near the smoothest stone,

look at one person and softly think,
wherever you are I will know
I put you there
I will think on my stone

when I am gone and there’s nothing to know


Katie Peterson’s first poetry collection, This One Tree (2006), was awarded the New Issues Poetry Prize by judge William Olson.