Today's poem is by Fleda Brown

The Death of Cleone

                      Of course she mistook
her son for her husband, since
it was the lake, and summer,
and she had grown small and turning,
as if the world were a kaleidoscope and she
its center made only of mirrors.
It was his voice, his hair, his height, so she
let down her own white hair and set her lips
on his before he realized. Still, when he
held her hand at the end, he was willing to be
anyone, and he talked to her of Central Lake
again, and when he reached the edge
of words, he took her arms
and made a motion of paddling
the canoe, and she did open her eyes
across the small craft of her bed, gliding
out into the last sliver of sun.
She passed the dam at Bellaire, through
Clam River, Grand Traverse Bay,
Lake Michigan, into the dream-soup
of details, of J-strokes. It was hard work
against the drag of water, before she
remembered she was a gull. Not that far
to go. Only back to Central Lake; she was
one of the ducks lifting off, pulling up
their landing gear in their awkward
duck-flurry of voices, and it didn't matter
which one she was, or who it was that
loved her, all of them winging around
within the hollow of the lake.
So began the silence, the evening,
the turning stars.

Copyright © 2005 Fleda Brown All rights reserved
from Poet Lore
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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