As the punctuated surface reflects the world she breathes,
her glance flitting from stippled lake to scribbled page,
all day the writer inside writes to the same hypnotic air—
rainfall’s percussive snare riffing from ridge to eaves,
a liquid song rung from metal hulls, from stern to bow,
from bright overturned boats in rows like chromatic bells
all untethered and glinting back toward the boathouse door,
toward daydreams of plying the lake like splashing oars,
a steady downbeat waking the watery view—beat, beat, beat—
through the day’s sleepy stillness, the blurry scrim of rain,
sticks and needle brushes working the old tin roof,
still-lit tamaracks flash their tiny flecks of golden bling,
with only a few proud trees hanging on late, even the faintest
handfuls giving in, tired oaks fling their waterlogged confetti
as wet November’s heavy sigh nearly drowns the sky, for hours
upon hours, muffling the rustling chatter of leaves. Still,
something else stirs, what’s here in the drone on drone?
Gray rain, gray squirrel, gray bird—what’s left, what else?

Photo by GWP Photography

Mary Elder Jacobsen

MARY ELDER JACOBSEN's poetry has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Antioch Review, The Greensboro Review, Southern Poetry Review, and other venues. She lives with her family in North Calais, Vermont, where she works as an editor and restores an old house on a lake. She holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro and an MA from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University where she was a Teaching Fellow.

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