The Apparitional Real

Photo: The Mystic Wave.
Photo: The Mystic Wave.

21 March 2016

I sit, contemplative, looking
down on Mystic River
from the wooded Peace
Sanctuary.  It is late winter.
The scents of spring make
fragrant the air, the soil
pungent with the sense
of something about to happen.

Across the river from the Sanctuary
sleeps the cemetery.  How still
those once athrob! with life;
while just north of them I-95
screams, whines, thunders with semis.
South, the Seaport,
in its time-warp,
dreams.  The Charles Morgan
rocks in its cradle of history.
The print shop chops and edits
notices of events that leap us
back to the 19th Century.

The river glows milky
past all this.  Mergansers
zig and zag close to shore,
their little wakes cut by ducks
paddling past, swans look mute on.

Appears out of nowhere
a lone sculler.
And  I let my imagination
play with the idea
he has risen, unseen,
from the cemetery,
so gravely does he oar
his scull, so otherworldly
his sense of presence.

The mute swans do not
notice him, nor the mergansers.
The ducks are nowhere to be seen.
South, he oars,
smoothly, gravely,
south toward the Seaport.

I start! at a movement nearby,
a chipmunk crackling rapidly across leaves
fallen on the floor of the Sanctuary.
I look back, quickly,
to the river and the sculler.
Gone!  And no wake wrinkles
the milk-smooth river.

Philip Kuepper
(14 March 2016)

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