Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Same Lake

Lake Washington:
through the wire mesh
the football stadium
in the foreground,
rain on the dirty glass
and thunder clouds
in Bobby St. Clair,
scars of Rebecca
gunning her Healey,
the gas pedal floored
and stuck, though
no one could say
fishing the car
with its redhaired body
out of the same lake.

Bobby in outpatient,
where Bonnington asks,
Where you been?
Saigon? Or did you need
to disturb the surface
of the underground?
Doctor Sunday-painter
sees nurse Melindra
tell Bobby how happy
she is. What about?
Bobby spits back stupidly.
He feels vindictive,
toward whom? She sets
him straight: she still
loves him, but why?

Stop hiding from yourself
is Bonnington’s advice.
By playing the coward
you can turn into one.
The doctor wants him
to begin The Story of
My Life. Why worry?
I sent them a letter
ample to save your life.
The war will continue
without you around
to win it for the enemy.
I prefer the underground,
Doc, I have a baby
to make . . .

On the way out Melindra
says she’s in med school,
still living in her house,
with her job on the ward
to try to break even,
and she has a new love.
Otherwise, she says,
tend your own garden,
Candide, this life is
all we are given.
So he goes home,
Christina’s out.
He packs his few things,
thinks it over, then
writes a note: I’ll be back.

He’s on auto pilot.
The sky’s cobalt blue,
sunny with slow rain.
From here you can hear
the hydroplanes,
and the closer you get
the closer the memory
of walking by the lake
with Rebecca, walking
along the green shore
entering the throngs
of celebrants,
fortunate to be here,
one among the many,
though it’s the same lake.

(4, 19 June 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

1 comment:

  1. Very much enjoyed reading this poem. Now I'm going to read it again...