It’s a long way to the lake,
Full of stones, the best of it.
A line floats free on that lake,
One long poem at rest in it.
I heard a piece of a song,
Drawn-out notes, ice in the air.
I coaxed them to come along,
Down to the waves, and sing there.
Those notes sang the song of grief.
Those notes were sad to be lost.
They made me feel like a thief,
As if I had cut them off,
And I have to say—You can’t
Tell with a line on that lake,
Where each line’s a wave, a chant,
A cast, a sign, and a snake.
When you get a good, hard pull,
Quit the song and haul your line.
Air’s too bare. That lake is full.
Haul grief out and cut the line.