Hush! She called him,
Dusk and the first snow
Are falling, come, join me
On the deserted lake road
For a twilight rendezvous
Destined for us.
Never one to refuse her siren call,
He dressed and headed up,
Silent in the silent snow,
The noisy world shut-in for once,
His pounding heart the sole sound
Shared with thoughts of beauty’s face.
The lake was painted yin and yang,
Swirled snow on thin white ice,
Black geese floating spies on
The misty black open water.
Glowing eyes in the gathering dusk,
Searchlights on his slipping steps.
No one will see us here,
He thought, swallowing the uncanny
Sense of someone lurking near.
The crepuscular light on bright
White snow made going slow
As he side-stepped drifting mounds,
The newly ancient burying grounds
Of what he took to be
The call refusing wizened ones
Afraid to meet desire in the snow.
Stumbling spellbound mindless now,
Lost in this very moment,
He steps gingerly over the fallen
Body of a still warm life,
While the snow whirls, though fall fell
Not that long ago. Geese honk
To jolt him wide awake.
Now slightly smiling since
The slumped down snowy body
Of this life he oversteps
On the road has been hit,
Knocked down, but not destroyed.
And though it’s wet and cold,
An abandoned child,
He knows he’ll turn in a minute,
Go back, pick up his life, slip
Into it as if it were a shirt
He had never taken off to wash.
It’s cold, he’s wet, it’s snowing.
But he sees in the image of his body
Lying down behind him
A way to take up the life that lies
He feels she called him out of love,
So turns, his life jumps up, they run
Joyously into each other’s arms
As the snow falls upon them
For the first time, alone to face
The gathering storm.
Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/