2 January 2022
By Philip Kuepper
A rowboat sat afloat
on the lake that lay, a stained-glass window
reflecting blue pines, that stood, a congregation
round the perimeter, and a blaze
of maples shooting rose among the blue,
and old gold oaks, erect in the cold.
All these the light threw, in reflection, across the lake,
clothing, harlenquinesque, a smattering of ducks
cuddled amongst the already tan-turned grass.
I sensed the thud of wood against wood,
oars against the boat that sat afloat.
I sensed the winding moan of oarlocks.
as the oars were inserted, and tested
for grip. This was wood talking with wood
that would talk with the water
once the boat was underway.
Yet this I could only sense.
Whose boat it was I did not know.
Nor would I know what the lake would say
once the boat was underway,
across the stained-glass water.
Then, in the quiet, a cone, in whispering fall,
brushed against branch below branch,
until it landed on the ground
stopping the whispering. The cone had fallen
like a hint, dropped. And, just then,
a splash surfaced the stained-glass,
as though the lake had answered the hint.
(15 December 2021)