Friday, August 24, 2007

Lake Song: Older Man, Teenage Girl (for Gigi)

So you see me on the lakefront
where the trees are summering
and through the alders you
call me out of myself and we wander
like deer under the branches.
We settle where the sky softens.
You are stronger,
your silences the words we muster.
I was not dreaming of you
because I avoid dreaming in the summer
when the sun is too blatant
and my eyes vacant like the air.
I'm weaker than when I stumbled upon you,
and when you summon me for the twist
in my eyelid or my lip hidden in the shade,
I want to tell you I'm more sullen
than the water and denser than
the mud where the crayfish hide.
As blunt as granite,
you lack song but have in your hands
that something I'm unable to fathom.
I, too, was younger than the marshes,
but not now, and you are creating
in me something that is not there,
that was worn out in the autumn.
Docile and more intense than
the clouds, you are part
clearing and breeze, and I lean on you
when you are not vigilant and you on me
when you stride forward into
what is becoming yourself.

(This poem appeared in Permafrost.)

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