by Howie Anderson
Sunday nights in the summer,
the city dwellers leave the lake like sad refugees driven away in haste, by force.
They hurry, not even looking back, knowing they will return soon.
But in September, all the docks and boats are stored away for winter,
and these same refugees walk ever so slowly beneath the trees,
staring out at the water, now golden with fallen leaves,
and Sunday night becomes a wake for lost dreams,
a saying goodbye to a much loved friend or relative.
It seems so final!
They wait until the very last minute, and, looking over their shoulder at the sun,
the fall, retreating south sun, they shake their heads, as if to get the bad dream
that summer is really gone.
And in the back of their mind is a sadness, and a hope that in the bleak mid-winter,
they can remember-
soft summer nights and fireflies;
songs around the fire pit;
water skiers throwing walls of rainbow laced sparkling magic into the air;
grandhildren screaming with delight as the boat swerves so their tube leaps high over the wake…flying, flying;
loon songs and owls’ eerie conversations;
pontoon rides as the moon rises;
fish fries on the screening porch;
midnight swims long after the godless mosquitoes have gone to ground;
and the faint, green northern lights throwing their glow on the lake’s glassy mirror.
No more. The snow may dim even the memories..
but next summer, next lovely summer lives somewhere in the heart…waiting