The Lake on the Border

The lamentable season lined the island floor with pine needles
and in summer the swimsuits and towels
slapped along the white clothesline.
Always the water would come and go
and the lake's metronome filled the pools with crawdads.
We were separated from the boathouse at Eagle Point
the Canadians' telephone
and the oxidated mailbox on the dirt lane.
The paper cut-out fish from each day's catch
covered the wall in the main cabin.
At night I dreamt of a cave with egrets and oleander
and held to the sound of the lake
like a seed to its hull.

One morning before the sun we brought in two stringers of bass
in less than an hour.
We cleaned them on the narrow porch by lantern.
I was amused because the newly removed head
would stare back from the newspaper
and witness the excavation of its own insides.

Poems by John Waldman:

The Water Month
The Heat
Of Madrid
The Lake on the Border
The Woman in the Hat
The Jewelry Box
The Corner
Huber's Tavern
The House in the Town
From the Home of Furious Wonder
From What Is Left Behind
The Den of Finitude
The Story of a Mountain

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets