MAY 9, 2018

Odes to Monona

“The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.” – Whitman, from “On the Beach at Night”


Little White Roses

Father and child walk away from courts,

the sand and the concrete

wide open under the Yahara Park oaks,

where the small bands of canvasbacks sun,

glistening green heads

velvet and luminous as lit felt,

and find two jutting rocks to watch

the friendly blue day stay, finally, permanently,

no longer a temporary guest of April.

Shoes off, the clear shallow water

cool up over the white toes, cool over the ankles

cool up to the white knees,

have they seen each other over winter?

Does the season set out a slumber

that does not awake until long days of May

turn like slow pages, white after white

the stories on the pages grow,

and along the side street houses

the tulips and daffodils grow, yellows

like sun flares, purple gentians

that lean in behind them, they on the rocks

listening to voices other than their cold own.

Bookmark these days on the rocky beach.

Bookmark the gently fingers

of sun across the front of the the neck,

out there, the fisherman, who are they

but neighbors of water,

neighbors of spring,

the fish they hook still cool and young

little white roses

by stems that grow up through

the ever shifting water columns.