I want to winter in a summer
cabin at Bear Lake,
north of New Hampshire, south of Canada,
where the general store sells washboards
and the clerk speaks back woods French
while old men talk of smuggling whiskey.

"See that sign?  Drink Canada Dry?
It can't be done, boys, can it?”

Town events are one-steps at the grange
and gathering at night at the dump
to shine light in the eyes of bears.

I want to go in winter, when fishermen
build fires on top of ice
beside deep holes sawn through the lake.

No one will ask me what I'm doing here
with cord wood stacked to the cabin eaves,
snowshoes, candles, matches, kerosene,
and cans of brown bread, chowder and sardines.

I'll fix cracked pipes and gutters,
hang suet for blue jays and chickadees,
solder and darn, sort fishing lures,
grow silent as snow grows on the roof
several feet soft, and read the big books,
Tolstoy and Melville by the wood stove.

Answers to questions that poisoned me are here
in the drawer with pencil stubs and string,
in patterns of frost and animal tracks,
in photographs lost between the walls.

The rope on the ceiling pulls down steps
to the loft where I sleep
with the scent of apples.

Published in West Wind Review

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