Dusk On Loukes Lake
(for Kathleen)

thin spirits of mist
rise immobile
on a lake flooded to ice
by the calm

water bugs skate in circles
to a waltz
of their own signature

my canoe glides
on the echoes of a setting bronze sun
mirroring undulations
roll in my wake to the shore

in the shadow of the bay
a loon draws a silver thread through the silhouette of a white pine
nature’s bottom line

dead ahead lies the rock
inverted
on which one morning last month
you sat panting
water running down your waist-length blonde hair
eyes bright with triumph and surprise
a nine year–old
who has conquered her lake

The whip-poor-will from nowhere
calls three times
capsizing the walls of time

I float
downside-up
in a darkening world
drowning in
the reflected beauty of your mother

Hindsight is shifty-fifty
The past a shore too far to swim
The dawn too far to paddle