early in the afternoon

it was early in the afternoon when the sun went away
the distant dripping of the gutter had stopped
shards of ice bobbed sparsely across the water
like things about which the lake had changed its mind

when i closed the phone and thrust it into my sweatshirt
i folded up a world not yet born
and some distant chorus fell silent
and briefly it was another place, and another time
but only briefly

when the sun returned a frozen gauze of mist hung above the water
in a color not ever named
and at the water's edge a lone birch looked out
at the dying flare in the west
needing nothing

or so it seemed

 

jan 1997 - lakehouse

 

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