Milestones

I love every bit of you
and sometimes it’s hard to make it sound poetic.
It’s just what it is.

The other day someone
called someone else a gargoyle, in a bad way, it
seemed. But I don’t

see that as an insult. When
I was a kid, only five or six, I adored the little
stone men in the

local park. I annoyed my
friends – I guess they were my friends – at
school by going on

about them. They thought
I was just being annoying, but I was drawn to
those old stones.

My Pokémon map now
calls them “stone faces”. I don’t see them that way.
I see them as stones

with faces. I see them as
ancient fools, wise jokers, watching the paths,
guarding something

precious – the rose garden,
maybe, or the pond with its swans and moorhens.
I like how they

never change, how I can take
you on the route I took at five, at six, show you
each carved expression:

grumpy, melancholy,
exhilarated. You can take my hand and lead me
on, to swans and roses

and I will match your
stride, even and rolling, while the eyes of the last
sentry we passed –

eyes that have known
me all my life, seen me grow – beam into our
backs. They approve.

Elizabeth Gibson is a Masters student at the University of Manchester. Her work has appeared in The Cadaverine, London Journal of Fiction, Gigantic Sequins, Ink Sweat & Tears, Sea Foam Mag, The Rising Phoenix Review and Firefly Magazine, among others. She tweets at @Grizonne and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk. She edits Foxglove Journal.

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