Atwood Road

Atwood Road

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(in memory, Jonathan Schell)

A mile from Slough Pond’s glacial hush, a folded
newspaper hat kept your bashed head cool,
like the kite you made, three decades ago,
from paper and two sticks that flew above
the empty beach, your hand on the twine tiller.
Mid-afternoon, mid-life, but not yours,
skating on thin ice in June—I can count
on one hand—don’t. For years that newsprint bird
your swooping gaze above Ben Suc. Tell me,
you said, what you’re not saying. And when
I paused: It’s your duty to tell me, for
what you say is the story of our lives.
I dive into the pond, all feet, all fin.
Now your hat over your shuttered eye.

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