Just by Deciding It

If you were with me, I’d be thinking
Of a drive out to the white lake
Even though it’s raining.
We could watch the mallards’ mating dance
And eat a hamburger, or listen
To Vivaldi on the radio, an oboe and guitar.

Once I tried learning to play the guitar.
You’re always thinking
I know how, but I don’t. If you’d listen
When I tell you these things. . . The lake
Is rattled now, I imagine, by the dance
Of lightning, flocks ascending. The reigning

Species this fall is blue teal, but when it’s raining
They disappear. Sometimes I’ve picked up your guitar
As if, just by deciding it, my fingers could dance
Over the strings. And I wouldn’t be thinking
About anything but, maybe, mist on a lake,
And I’d step out of my body and listen.

Brent, listen:
You can hardly hear it raining
From the banks that surround our tender lake
Like the body of a guitar
Around its vacant well. Thinking
About it, not like a death, but like a dance,

We are locked arm in arm; the dance
Depends on the distance between us. We listen
For the counterpoint, thinking
It’s our one hope: to love rain when it’s raining.
The flood hits the roof like chords on a guitar.
If we were together the lake

Could be all ours. No one comes to the lake
On a day like this. No one watches ducks dance
Or holds his breath to hear their quiet — Listen —
Almost inaudible banter, like me on the guitar:
Strumming but muted. It has stopped raining.
If you were here, what would we be thinking?

I lie down by the lake and listen.
Stop thinking for a minute. It isn’t even raining.
That’s you in the ground dancing. That’s me on the

—Myrna Stone


Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 8:22 PM  Leave a Comment  

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