White Cottage

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The mist is there before the day. It’s all There is at first, an ancient cottage, white

In green mountains, both hidden in the dawn. The mist that hid the world begins to fall,

Revealing crowns of red spruce to the light Above the mountain ash and alder, drawn,

Like me, to sun as leaves reflect in gold. And then the lake appears, as if just made,

Loose vines of mist dissolving in the day, And then a bell, far off to the east, tolls

Three times. Five loons, a family, now wade, One and then another, across the lake. They

Vanish under the flashing water. I go Myself into the cold and follow them.

I float a bit then join their glossy wake. I think the morning’s mine, but then I know

I’m not alone. I catch a glint of gem Across the otherwise unruffled lake,

Another movement: A speckling, a flash Of white. I wonder what could be so strong,

So unafraid to be seen, and find Another body, slowly winking splash

In the cool morning of cicada song, A swimmer, as I am, inside her mind,

Making her own way in her own time, Near the rocks now where the five loons perch,

In the last of mist, under the shade of lime- Stone, eastern white pine, clouds of yellow birch.