Monday, August 22, 2022

Looking Up From My Book

For two weeks, this summer cottage on the lake filled 

with the joyful noise and clatter 

of my children, my grandchildren, my niece,

     my wife, her brothers, 

the visiting neighbors. 

That welcome cacophony of life and love. 


Now only my wife and I remain. 

            Such space and silence. Empty chairs around the table,

                       clean floors, the quiet exhale of the furniture.


After dinner, I sit on the deck reading poems

from those who have taken time to pause, to observe,

      then report 

            how nature’s bounty —

 a snail, 

                                    a  fiddlehead fern

a cool breeze on a hot day—

restores them. 

These simple things are enough— 

          to soothe our anguish, 

   to remember our beauty,

 to welcome the first bud after a hard winter.


I look up from the book and there is the blood-red sun 

easing into Lake Michigan, 

            a lone gull winging across its dying light in one direction,

                        a boat gliding over the sparkling waters in the other direction. 


I close the book and bow.

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