That so-called stone surface facial of
sedimentary calcium composition
of old fossils, fragments, and ancient scree;
rocks of gray, white, yellow, or brown.
Ubiquitous to trails I hike,
fine for stepping over hazards
or tripping face-first onto hard rocks,
or into some mud puddle or other.
Soft and effervescent in any acid,
yet porous enough to spawn tree or shrub
growth or provide unlimited grot hiding places
for so many critters of the Texas wild.
In a metamorphism of glory,
stones ugly and pitted,
covered with algae, moss, and mold;
magically recrystallizing into fine marble,
given enough time.
Fittingly, oxymoronic as soft rock
used as stones for walls,
or as naturally difficult primitive paths,
or cliffs to climb,
or pathways to find,
so many new trails to blaze.
So much staining, like inked tattoos,
painted with organic rust;
constantly crumbling, chipping,
peeling, spalling, weathering,
and eroding away;
just like me.
A stone-cold darkness arising from dampness,
striving to save archaeological history,
the professional province of geoscience,
ignored by hikers and walkers, but not
missed by the conceit of poets.
We seem to see it all.
Look both ways and watch your step,
for real and with a metaphor.
Mind all the gaps. Trip at your own peril.