Today's poem is by Kevin Prufer
The Party by the Lake
Such a time we had at the lake those days Janie with her catamaran
calling to the shore
and Wilson, who was always game,
tipping his gimlet back, laughing with the others
who smoked their cigarettes
and died all morning.
Such a blear and thrill,
the sun that trilled the windowsill with cobwebs,
the sun that lit the lake and made of its surface a shiny pan
Times like those I was a kind of angel
my silver wings dragging in the dirt behind me,
my ragshop hair
that glowed like the light before a storm
The lord had given me a voice that made the others swoon and sing,
that made them sighOh, sing! and sing! from Janie,
and Yes, old boy, from the men
I was an empty vessel, a box of sound.
Then the black night fell around us like a wing
Janie tying up the boat, and Wilson done and staggering,
his chair atilt
then fallen on the dock,
and I gone, too, in the head, one drink too many,
wet of lip and strange,
thin-wristed in the cold night air.
I dragged my wings across the planks
and stood in my feathers and golden hair
to look to the distant town,
a row of crumbled teeth.
The moon fell like a match over the corpse of the party.
When I opened my mouth to sing
a rasp came out
no, nothing, nothingas the stars untied their strings
and on the lord's command
Copyright © 2007 Kevin Prufer All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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