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A Stone Is Nobodys

 A man ambushed a stone.
Caught it.
Made it a prisoner.
Put it in a dark room and stood guard over it for the rest of his life.
His mother asked why.
He said, because it's held captive, because it is captured.
Look, the stone is asleep, she said, it does not know whether it's in a garden or not.
Eternity and the stone are mother and daughter; it is you who are getting old.
The stone is only sleeping.
But I caught it, mother, it is mine by conquest, he said.
A stone is nobody's, not even its own.
It is you who are conquered; you are minding the prisoner, which is yourself, because you are afraid to go out, she said.
Yes yes, I am afraid, because you have never loved me, he said.
Which is true, because you have always been to me as the stone is to you, she said.

by Russell Edson
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