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.