Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On The Lake \ Moonvines

Alan:  Augusts in childhood, there were “lake days” (hot, steamy) and “mountain days” (brisk, clear).  We didn’t dignify the rainy days.
On The Lake
Sometimes, on calm days,
we'd work the canoes fast
and straight
in tight parallels, then,
raising paddles together,
watch the curved hulls
close with a strange attraction
and meet:
a light, aluminum
kiss.  "Bernoulli!" we'd cry,
"Bernoulli!" – loving the name
and what it gave life to.
Now, sometimes, I feel
the invisible, disparate
parts of me align,
accelerate, and,
touch.  "Bernoulli?"
I think, "Bernoulli?"
wondering what it might take
to keep me, this time,
from slowing and drifting
back apart.
Nancy:  Downeast coastal Maine isn't much like Indiana, and my moonvines checked the "no thanks" box.
Under the moonvine shade, I sailed my summers.
My grandfather walked west, toward the wheat;
the freights slid through our small towns
and whistled my father away.
The women stayed.  I see them still,
aproned, sweaty, boilers of laundry,
soap, jelly, soup.  I hear them
saying, “where has she gone now?”
while I hid in the moonvines.
I went to sea fiercely in the green shade,
headed for some unknown landfall,
some future away from the dusty shores
of the Indiana afternoon.
Today I bought moonvine seeds,
to plant among the stones of this salt bay.
Goodbye, you women who taught me apple butter,
who taught me biscuits and mustard plasters,
and cried when I picked up my feet
like the men, and sailed away.  I loved you.
“Moonvines” first appeared in Blackberries and Dust (Stone Man Press, 1984)