The Prose Poem

Mark Vinz


for Jay and Martha

I've watched all week, but it seems the eagles really haven't returned this year. The heron's nest on the other side of the inlet is deserted, too, though high water and tricky winds make it impossible to get out in the boat most days. Still, it s enough to look up from whatever page I m turning and watch the lake–the long trajectory of loons skimming the water, wings beating waves, echoing cries. You know how they always thrill us, especially at night.

It's humid today, the thick clouds seeming to grow from the shore–when friends are here, it's what we scarcely notice, up late, talking quietly on the screened-in porch. In the morning there is always time to take turns stretching out on the dock, to be alone with birds and sky and water. And now, as dinner wine is cooling in the refrigerator, you're here again, all of us peering out into the fading light, amazed by wind in leaves, full of smiles for this other life–the one where we're totally thankful.