“Landscape with Rai Stones” by Rebecca Starks

Rebecca Starks


Dozens of them, not erratics from melting glaciers
but the kind of boulder you can buy for your yard
and mow around to divert the monotony of ease,
big as Yap islander money, those huge wheels
of stone too heavy to move except by title.
All these tents and carts might as well be Rai stones
for all you can uproot them from your street.
The homeless call it home. They’ve gotten comfortable.
They might as well sit on a seaweed-draped rock on the coast
and call it money, call it theirs until the next wave.
It was your idea to raise the funds for them,
these boulders squatting all along the sidewalk,
occupying the margins so you don’t have to be seen
trying not to look at what others don’t have.

from Poets Respond
October 3, 2019


Rebecca Starks: “I wrote this in response to the news that San Francisco residents pooled funds to buy boulders to keep the homeless off their street. The boulders have since been removed (for pragmatic reasons).” (web)

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