Reservoir No. 6
Geese dawdle near the melting ice
while gulls, like white confetti,
wheel before a mount of mist:
they sense the sun is ready
to muscle through the pall of clouds
whose drops have drummed as steady
across these hills as ocean waves
have clawed the cliffs, as streams
have swelled, and wind has gnawed the world.
They’ve washed away the dreams
of tadpoles, catfish, carp, and trout
which flash their glitter-gleams.
Defrosted frogs in fevered ferver
quack and trill and whistle,
fawns tail their leaders through the cedars,
blinking at bears that bristle,
while hairy caterpillars hatch
on hickory and thistle.
This must be why I scaled the fence,
slogging along a track
of rills and muddy puddles; why
each sneaker is a sack
of sopping wilderness; and why
each spring I will be back.
(Appeared in The Road Not Taken)