I once overheard a conversation about people killing trees to get a better view of the water from their summer houses. I once spent a perfect weekend on Squam Lake. I saw loons and thought of Thoreau. I am not an old person, but some day I will be old.

 
Lake View
 
There is a town ordinance against cutting
down trees, so the locals drive metal spikes
into the heartwood and let time work,
 
let slow poison leech into fragile memory
through rings and snowdrifts and windstorms back
to when winter thaws brought a kind of hope
 
and cold snaps drew privates tight with fear,
a delirious icy fear that limbs
would fail and this one would be the last.
 
The gods stared down jealous then. Who
could be so alive, so vibrant with hidden life, so
bold with the power of supple wood?
 
But arms become weary and branches
drop. The lake grows and the mind addles.
We are an ancient relative always in the way,
 
means well, but sighs and trembles, forgets where
he is supposed to be and has stopped searching
for the pain, that searing in the lower back
 
that radiates through a body like hot iron
and is forgotten as a pair of loons
glide slowly across the cold grey water.
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