Lake Effect

My sons have seen dragonflies die
in the mouths of birds,
fish feeding from shells
of turtles upturned in the lake:

they know something of the darkness
I love
more than the flame
that leashes the world
to its bald circle of light.

Down at the swamp end
of the lake, they pick water lilies
to float in crystal bowls at dinner

and by the end of the evening meal,
under candle-low lamplight,
the lilies have folded back into their black-green
buds, tight and slimy with algae.

Yes, the darkness enfolds everything
just as it is.

So while the rest of us drink pinot
noir, discussing some temporal thing
like the millweed slowly strangling the lake,

my sons poke black lily buds
with their dessert forks, dissecting them
on the linen tablecloth.
They, too,
believe in the night:

finding the petals fresh inside,
plucking them out one by plush white one.

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