Monday, January 30, 2012

The Walk North From Lakeview

The Walk North From Lakeview

Why don’t you come with us.  You won’t be a
bother, if that’s what you’re worried about. 

We’ll drop by as we make our way down the
slope toward the tree, the one aligned just right

for shade on long, languid summer days, bare,
a stark presence the last time we drove out

this way, parking on the far edge, cutting
through to avoid the icy lane, our boots

biting into the thin, white crust, breaking
the flat silence, a stillness that vibrates

with your presence, you and all the rest tucked
away, ticking off the seasons, ruing

the deer that come to graze on the flowers. 
We wait while you bundle yourself up in

your old cardigan to ward off the chill
on the breeze off Deer Lake then leave by the

main gate, heading north on Depot Road past
the beach, dormant lifeguard tower the sole

witness to our leisurely stroll, the three
of us, until I turn to see we’re not

alone.  We seem to have been joined by a
few of the others out for a walk on

this fine spring day, more than a few, in fact,
enough to merit a police permit. 

I mention this to the fellow striding
behind me, dapper in a felt bowler

and handlebar moustache, and it occurs
to me he could be a former mayor

or town hall crony so I watch my p’s
and q’s.  In town, we walk the path around

Depot Park, then head back at the head of
an impromptu parade snaking back on

itself, nodding politely as some tip
hats or snap crisp salutes, our past catching

up with us or the other way around,
I suppose.  We slip back into Lakeview

through a gap in the old gate, the one they
padlock, and wave goodbye to them as they

drop out one by one until it’s just the
three of us again.  “I’m so glad you came

by”, you say as you gather your sweater
about you in the low afternoon sun 

then wave farewell beneath the tree, buds set
to burst, spring closing another circle.     


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