Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In the Moon When Lakes Start to Freeze,

photo: ralph murre

In the Moon When Lakes Start to Freeze,
We Drive to Door County
by Mary Jo Balistreri

The golden bronze death of red oaks
            arches over the road
as we drive into tunnel
upon tunnel
of illumination        Country hymns
                                         Carry Me Down By The River
                                                                  Whispering Hope in my ear
open onto field upon field of cornstalks
            marsh grass       weathered red barns       stone silos
A flock of starlings block out the sun
Gulls assume the sky’s

Vista after vista changes before us
            trees                russet and burgundy
sumac             color of dried blood
evergreens      so blue they are black

Snow’s slate gray sky wavers over morning
A few flakes drift
Green Bay waters     leap
                           fall back
Limestone bluffs stand still

As day darkens toward night
            those we have lost
appear along the roadside of our minds

            two small boys wave    
      parents                  grandparents
            friends from long ago

We carry them forward even as they vanish
            into the blur of distance
Carry them with us
            to another harvest

~ first published in Quill & Parchment