Flames spring up gesturing hypnotically
In the trees’ silhouette at a neighbouring cottage
Dwarfed by the sun’s fiery show
Across the river.
The place is history as we imagine
Flashing through memory:
Siblings, children, men, women
All pass by, stop briefly or not
Smiling, grimacing — private and public
A straw hat in the sun, a plastic float,
A beach pail, groceries, a drink,
A paddle, a towel, lawn chair, shuffleboard cues
A pie, marsh mallows, corn cobs, camera
Sunglasses, picnic basket, engagement ring.
Excited, expectant, too hot, shivering,
Relaxed, sweating with exertion, fever,
Fear, loneliness, sorrow, and bliss.
Memory, like a sleeve hides and
Teases, distorts and promises.
This sunset, this bonfire has been here
And will be here long ago again.
August 25, 2006