Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Time, the Money, and the Weather

What is this impossible
Configuration of links
Between the way everything
Contributes to everything
Becoming nothing like what
Anything contributed.

Here is a lake infested
With houses, shallow and small,
Ringed by puny, bumpy hills
Forested by various
Stages of recovery
From the nearby paper mills.

And here are rented cabins
In a cluster on one shore
Where we never intended
To spend any time, much less
A night, then a whole weekend,
Getting to know the owners,

One of whom dreams of selling
A lurid, sprawling novel
About Cajun swill smugglers
During the prohibition,
Both of whom tell us about
Their recent car accident.

Combinations of notions,
Hesitations, decisions
Appeared to have led us here,
But our deliberations
Couldn't have mattered that much,
Correctly guessing nothing,

Not what these days would be like,
Not the strange bed, the quiet,
The midnight drive through the fog
To get to the hospital in time
To stop anaphylaxis,
The boat ride around the lake

The next day, our daughter's first
Time in a boat, with the couple
From Spokane in the cabin
Next to ours, who decided
On a whim to weekend here,
So they could take their boat out--

Patty and her wife Becca,
A fifty-something fireplug
And a zaftig nurse in braids,
With a cooler full of beer,
A scruffy, palm-sized rat dog,
And a lot of cheerful talk

About nothing. A weekend
Conjured out of a million
Little fears and fantasies,
Ill health, strained budgets, desires,
Giant universal laws,
Subatomic particles.

Can of beer and cigarette
In one hand, her other hand 
Piloting the boat, Patty
Explains how rarely she gets
The boat out. "You need the time,
The money, and the weather."

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