Clear, cold, blue sky and harsh November sun
glaring white light through stark and leafless trees
and glancing off the water, just begun
to reach with feather crystals and to freeze
the memories of summer on the shore.
Constant, unforgiving, unrelenting
light slices through late autumn just before
Ottawa Valley winds, unrepenting
and icy, sweep the St. Lawrence. But through
November light, time disappears and where
the sharp tang of burning leaves curls into
a drift of woodsmoke carried on the air,
we two are climbing over driftwood while
I wait for your approval and your smile.
Did you, who loved the earth so well, know then
what quickened in the dark and starless night?
What eternal beauty stirred your soul when
life’s sweet pulse was past? Is the air as bright
at heaven’s gate as it was when we talked
of eternity and I thought it meant
that you and I were forever? We walked
together hand in hand, my childhood spent
believing in your power. Will we meet
again or am I, like autumn, too late?
The river stones are cold beneath my feet,
just like they were in 1958,
as love’s philosophies I remember
in the clear, cold air of harsh November.
© 1996 by Alexandra Lucas. All rights reserved