At Sterling Pond

At Ster­ling Pond the reeds are old women whis­per­ing; the red­winged black­bird a priest with a martyr’s stole. It will not cease to preach nor the wind kill its wild ser­mon. This is where you were beau­ti­ful all those years ago, when we walked along the shore lis­ten­ing to small waves and tree frogs, hand-in-hand. When we walked on the stones like drunk­en things and found our­selves sur­round­ed by drum­lins. I kissed you then, and they watched with flick­er­ing hope in their patient res­ig­na­tion, as waves wash them through the win­ter. I return alone, as I did on that day so long ago, and wash my hands until next year.

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