When I was eight, the sweet beast of my body would
wake in a moment to beautiful boathouse smells
of batshit, warmed tar, drops of oily gas, beer
cans on vinyl cushions; it would snap
to a snort of hot blueberries in a pancake,
fall to its knees for wild mint in the sun.
It would know how many steps to take from stones
to soft orange needles, to the silk shoulders of our rough road.
It would clean itself without words on long grasses
bent for the falls, green hands laid over the blues.
It would pick up on one press of ‘O.’
Now it rouses only when I’ve waited long
within the lapping sound, when I’ve shown the lake
I can be tender and pink as any peeling white birch.
It surfaces some time after I have wandered well
and mourned with a voice not strange to the loon.