A Memory

by Rosemary King


It was barely dawn

Pink light and grey

I woke to the lapping of water on boats

And climbed out of the bunk I shared with another child

Looking out the window

That just three years earlier I had grown high enough to see out of

Below me

Down the steps 

Through dry pines

To the lakes edge

A man getting into a canoe

Stealthy, paddling through

glasslike water

With tanned arms

In the distance the opaque starkness of a loon against an orange sky

It dove 

Barely disturbing the surface

Not to emerge again from the water 

Disappeared

To somewhere I could not see

His canoe made a V as he grew smaller

Years later 

I saw him at Granny's funeral

He was drawn, grey

Treatment isn't goin well

Someone whispered

A little less than a year later

He had passed