At 74, nearly three-quarters of a century old,

I’m sitting in front of our charming, white wood stove.

The flame dances, ignoring the outside temperature, 19

Erasing the winter in New England.

My thoughts are floating, riding the inner current

In the doldrums, the counter-current against the prevailing trade wind. 

Our sailboat rocked, and the shapeless sails flip-flopped. 

The halyards banged against the mast.  Anything not tied down,

Or wedged in rattled in the cabin on the big waves traveling 

From faraway places.  A shark circled us, cutting through the sparkling,

Hushed blue-water under the blazing sun.

The boys shouted, “Shark!”

In the dark, cold morning, far away from the doldrums,

I remember and am so willing to go to places,

So far away, so long ago…

Maybe to repaint the images,

Maybe to ease the speed of light

Rounding the blessed little squared secret corners

Before the erosion invades the lock,

And then my key has no function

Making the named nameless.

I remember the trade wind losing its grip,

Letting the dust settle, only the occasionally crashing

Waves scattered the dust sputtering the beginning, ending

Even the middle of a song briefly.

Dust we live in,

Dust we breathe in,

Dust we eat,

And dust we become

Against our will

That remembers the counter-current

In the doldrums.


Year of the Rabbit