Skipping Stones

I last time I had skipped a stone across the water

I was seventeen

it was the waning weeks

before my senior year of high school

on a hot summer evening

after a hard days work on the farm

still covered in dirt and dried sweat

still chewing tobacco because I thought I was cool,

a hot summer evening when we sat on coolers

drinking dirt cheap beer

and listening to classic rock

as we pretended to fish

and we pretended to like the taste of the cheap beer

and we talked about girls

and talked about what we were going to do in a year

since none of our parents went to college

and we sure as hell weren’t going to go

and even community college was out of the question,

it was either farming,

or construction,

or enlisting

but probably enlisting

and we talked about our grandfathers

and where they had fought during the war

and we talked about what branches we wanted to join

and why

and this was before September 11th 2001,

so none of us thought that we might die

and as the beers flowed and the fish slowed

we walked around searching for flat stones

and we skipped them across the water

and that was early August 2001

and a month later my senior year began

and our football team was looking great

and I had a date to the county fair

on the 8th of September

and that’s really the last thing about my youth

that I can remember

because 3 days later was the 11th

and everything after was a patriotic blur

and back then my sister called me incredibly naive

and looking back at it all now, I concur.


Skip ahead a few years,

but minus the beers this time

I was searching once again for flat stones

and after I found a pile of them,

I skipped them one by one

across the lake towards Al-Faw Palace

as the rest of my squad sat around fishing

during our few hour respite

and I was wishing I was anywhere else in the world

as I watched those stones skim the surface

before finding their final resting place

somewhere at the bottom


About soitgoes1984

I live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean in the Hawaiian Kingdom which is currently illegally occupied by the American government. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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