Richard Terrill

The Lake
by Richard Terrill

after Yeats

I’m getting up soon, and going to the lake,
where my father’s cabin leans toward the north,
more chinks between the logs than last year’s newsprint could patch,
old kitchen pots on the front room floor to catch the roof’s leaks.

I’ll catch black bass after dark in the lily pads,
and each day my father will talk about hunting birds this fall,
and my mother will read a book and occasionally
remember dreaming. It’s a place of such anticipation

as when morning lifts its dew over the grass in August
and over blueberries too small in the wetlands, never grown sweet,
and the bittern standing on one leg, and the loon sane as day.
The mosquito buzz at evening sends us indoors–mostly safely

(everyone knows that joke, and the holes in the rusted screens).
Ok. I’m getting up now, because for days I’ve heard the frogs
awakening, and the blackbirds’ fine syllables, and the few cars
on the road hidden behind the young red pines. I’m down that road,

away, always away now, and looking
toward its farthest bend.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 2.

Richard TerrillRichard Terrill is the author five books, including Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, winner of the Minnesota Book Award for poetry, and Saturday Night in Baoding: A China Memoir, winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Nonfiction.  His memoir Fakebook chronicles his experiences as a jazz saxophone player.

See all items about Richard Terrill

Visit Richard Terrill’s contributors page.

Leave a Reply