The Island of Daily Life
This one is for Sandy who loves poems about ordinary things. For her, I'll keep my abstractions to a minimum and praisea the open carpentry of the summer cabins for their impromptu shelves where every ledge invites a wildflower bouquet or a drawing from a child at camp or a special stone plucked from the lake, and I praise the lake with its dappled beach and sloping light, the comforting iterations of rowboat, bathing cap, splash, where lakefront trees and small docks flare in the late afternoon, and a neighbor calls softly to her daughter it's time to go, don't forget your things... This poem gets up early for the Saturday yard sale and celebrates the evening walk across the mowing through low-bush blueberries in the shadow of Monadnock to Miriam's for dinner on the screened-in porch. Sometimes guests from the city. Always the dog in his summer haircut announcing his arrival. This poem honors the poached fish and the beans, the goat cheese and the wine, the poems read aloud after dinner for their attention to the quiddities, to aspects of our communal selves, sheared of the theoretical. This poem celebrates the passing of the dish and the return of the bowl, the full moon now high above the August lakes, shining on a thousand forgotten beach books.
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