I see you near their conferring feet,
in an area cleared for a waterless beach,
or a desert where shale and embers meet
and a lake of brush burns on Pine Street.
But then, we could be anywhere.
I see your chimney smoke fall and catch,
dim between the evergreen limbs, as if to teach
a lesson on blending in. Each night I watch
your door. You do and re-do your latch.
But then, you could live anywhere.
We’re not different. I’ve seen you, late,
rehearsing to yourself some kind of speech
meant for another, to be given at some near date.
But time is slow, and moves at a slackening rate.
But then, we could speak any time.
The fog turns your valley into a frail sea
and moves once-familiar land out of reach.
Your house down below waits, and almost pleads.
I unfold a few lines and tack them to a tree.
If you have any comments on this poem, Mercer Bufter would
be pleased to hear from you.