Clean White Heart

Clean white heart
Soapstone lying amid granite
Seasoned and shaped by a mother’s voice, a bird’s song, a dog’s velvet ear
Nicks, gashes, cuts covered with stamps
Feeling through life as if groping in a dark room, a foothold on wet rocks
Stamp after stamp covers the stone finger-painted ruby red

A tickle of new softness
Down feathers its way out of the heart
Softness tempered into sleekness
The strength of feathers—now the knowledge to use them