Reading to Ollie
The wind on the lake today is too warm
for late October; there is hardly a ripple
just the faint trembling of the water
under the breath of the brilliant sky.
The trees, in fall color, are disarmed.
This southern wind brings memory.
I imagine its taking life in the Gulf
heat building over the great pocked
mirror of the sea, and moving north
into the pine forests, the sandy farms
where I spent my childhood, ascending
over the fault line to the low hills
around Atlanta, where my children
grew up and left for other places, then rising
into the long valleys of the Blue Ridge:
this place where my heart has settled for good.
And where lately I’ve been reading to Ollie
my small grandson, whose first tongue
is Spanish; but who follows the story line.
Sitting on the dock, we are lost in reading;
he is nestled against me, we are
borne along by the story and by
an un-accountable love for each other.
Then I remember my mother’s voice
as she read to me, warm and enveloping.
It was as safe and cherished as I ever felt.
For a moment I hold the sense of love
being carried across lives like a wind;
the lake surface breaks into something
like a painted forest, then is wiped clean.

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