Souvenir of Ginko Petrified Forests


Souvenir of Ginko Petrified Forests Spruce


Souvenir of Ginko Petrified Forests Spruce

It is a rock-like object,



heavy for it’s small size,

fits in the palm of your hand.

There is a smooth

polished side,

this flat surface has

lovely rich swirls of color:

Dark brown, white, tan, burnt sienna, and yellow ocher.

A gold sticker in the lower right corner of the smooth surface reads:

Souvenir of Ginko Petrified Forests Spruce.

I hold it,

look at it,

a memory returns.


It is hot, very hot and dry.

The little red VW won’t start.

My father’s upset.

We’re stranded.

A very small town

called Vantage in eastern Washington.

Just on the outskirts,

we try pushing the little car

my mother and I

while Dad tries to compression start the engine.

He has told us a vapor block

is in the fuel line

caused by the heat.

And we’re stranded.

I am just a small child, frustrated and



If the rock could talk

it would say-

The man who was the child

holds me in his hand.

Not roughly, but gently, almost respectfully.

I do like to be held,

like this.

I do want to have contact.

So, I will impart a word to the holder.

You remember this time,

from long ago,

as you look at my smooth, polished rock face

and as you feel the roughness on my backside.

You remember

it was the first time you were stranded,

far from home.

It was jarring

and scary.

You and your mother pushed

the little VW, and

you began to giggle,

and your mother began to giggle,

and you couldn’t stop giggling.

Your father got really angry at you both.

Here you were, afraid, but

you couldn’t stop laughing.


life with its strange trials

and events that make up our days.

When opposite feelings

counterpoint our experience.

We pushed the little red VW into the only shade we could find.

An hour later,

we were back on the road driving home.

The little car just needed to cool down.

This rock, this souvenir,

this memory it holds for me,

as I look into the swirling colors,

will return again,

and again.


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