|Her forgotten father created
a name for her from a
simple stone. When it grew into a boulder, man-high
and void-wide, he pushed it down the hill; but
there was no Sisyphus to meet it. It languished in
the valley, a name with no irresistible force to
She was quite content to leave her name there, to be shat upon
by dry lizards and wet loons. The name itself was not so sanguine.
Every boulder has a crater in its past, and the name wanted to
purge its history--just as the daughter, with a daughter's anger,
had put the father (and the name) out of mind and memory. But
stones, once moved, have no such power.
There were other neglected names in that valley:
a rotting peach, a thin trickle of water that had
been a river, an ineffectual breeze stirring dead
weeds. Families would sometimes picnic there
in the valley, but they never came back. They
could feel the desperate amnesia surrounding them.
When at last the daughter happened to wander through,
she didn't recognize her name. It had no particular
use for her, either. But centuries later, when the
name had eroded, its components laid bare, symbols of
the father and the daughter could be found among them,
intertwined. Even stones can spite.