So gradual was that summer when I was coming of age
it seemed that the long days stretched out forever—
when the sun rose over the lake and birds plucked their harps
then burst into full song and showers caught in cups of leaves
tipped to the moss below. Spider webs glittered in the bright air.
It appeared that the open sky was something tangible
to have and keep and savor for a lifetime and in the brightness
we would never be gone and that the earth was fixed on its axis.
Did I tell you how I took wing like a hawk takes wing
and flew out over the lake-filled valley? How the crows
coughed in the willows that dripped their hair into the shallows
then flew into the dawn like a jazz band on their high wings
and the village miles away woke with muffins and coffee
and the morning paper and some people headed to their gardens
to plant nasturtium, morning glory and carrot seeds so they would
fill their world with food and beauty. That evening we saw swallows flash
their bright eyes—chipping and scooping mayflies in the tiny black tweezers
of their beaks. And the wheel of sky was turning and turning taking us
hour by hour into the future pregnant and full to bursting with promise.
All the while the days of the calendar shuffled into stacks
and shadows stretched out farther and farther and the light turned
rosy and golden and one by one the stars began to pierce the night.