These Rocks, This Soul
By Beth Cato

these river rocks
the colors of my soul
and as dense and heavy

I have carried them longer
than I carried my children
I have known their heft
since I was a child myself
holding them to the gloaming
purple light
confident that the rocks 
cradled dragons within

I am old now
my hair frail silver
like a winter dawn
yet still I rub these rocks
between my papery palms
still I hold them
to be warmed by heaven’s glow
still I listen
for the crackle of shell


Nebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the Blood of Earth trilogy from Harper Voyager. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cats. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.