Deborah Ager

(1971)

The Lake


The yard half a yard,
half a lake blue as a corpse.
The lake will tell things you long to hear:
get away from here.
Three o'clock. Dry leaves rat-tat like maracas.

Whisky-colored grass
breaks at every step and trees
are slowly realizing they are nude.
How long will you stay?
For the lake asks questions you want to hear, too.

Months have passed since, well,
everything. Since buildings stood
black against sky, rain hissed from sidewalks
and curled around you.
O, how those avenues once seemed menacing!

I know what you miss
sings this lake. Car horns groaning
in rush hour. Sweet coffee. Wind
pounding like hammers. Warmth of a lover.
Crickets humming love songs to the street.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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