The lake waves look like hands on the shore

IMG_5995Now the lake advances in creeping hands along the shore
and the lifeguard chair is empty, there’s the threat of showers,
the tree boughs move with the underwater look
of deep-sea creatures in slow motion
and the frog beneath our hot tub
looks like a walnut shell,
a leopard-spotted slug with its eyes
fixed on mine, conforming to the edge
as I lower the lid.

On the seam between summer and fall,
my dog tugging at something on the lakeshore
like a stump or a log, it sounds wooden like that,
a dead rabbit, the legs in the air
and eyes open still and stiff, and odd
I thought about the frog, and closing the lid:
that’s the first thing we do with the dead
is lower the lids,
we can’t stand the look of them that way,
a parody of themselves frozen in time,
we do what we can to fix them,
we make believe they’re just resting now.

Categories: poetry, writing

Tags: , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Oh, I love ‘the seam between summer and fall’ – what a lovely phrase. Wish I’d thought of that! Reminds me of a clear memory from when I was about seven or so. There was a wooden building in the school grounds that was raised off the ground on stilts and one day, some boys kicked a football under there. On fetching it they found a dead cat – outstretched as if it died in mid-leap, wide eyes, the hair all gone, the skin taut and dried, pale, like your rabbit. A dessicated cat. Of course all the kids came to look, a big circle of us gathered round til we were shooed away. It was creepy but fascinating.
    A great piece, Bill


    • That story is good, thanks for sharing Lynn. My dog Ginger probably wanted to drag this dead rabbit home with her, and what a look that would have made, through the suburbs: something you probably get a dark chuckle from, so there you go. Glad you liked it, thanks. I realize I haven’t published any poems since February and want to start working some up again. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not great eating on a mummified rabbit – Ginger’s taste in food is pretty dreadful! Maybe pet companies should start running a line of dog toys based on dead things and roadkill – would be popular with the dogs, if not the humans 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. the final ‘tucking into bed’.


  3. I always feel like I’m commenting that your post remind me of_______. So, today I will refrain and just say that this is great.

    Liked by 1 person

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