Opening Up

Opening Up

Opening Up 1920 1280 Jean Van Loon

We could form a work-party, you and I,
take a couple of days, once more
shovel winter’s detritus from the dock ––
brown cedar sheddings, broken twigs
the empty bait-pots and beer cans
ice-fishers left behind
the flotsam under the steps
from big-boat wakes.

From the old stone path
we’d sweep the shrivelled blossoms
snowed from black locust trees. We’d scrape
sky-blue curls from the porch’s painted ceiling.
Dispose of the dead –– bloated mink
adrift in the boat slip, maggoted bat
in the old garage, sheer dragonflies
webbed at the edge
of the wash-house window.

Work our bodies till they hurt.
Sore arms, blistered fingers. Purge
what clogs the heart, dulls
eye to colour, tongue to savour.

And if all’s nearly clean
we’ll raise the flag to one more season.
If not, a sign: For Sale.

Remember California ––
how the night air smelled of hyacinth.

Header photograph © Elizabeth Hart Bergstrom.

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