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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 1, March 2012

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Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia, USA


Lamp

What once
was so generously shared
he now holds close,
a diving beetle's
pearl of air

I dive, and it may as well be into a lake of ink. The moonlit sky is so rife with bats they collide at times with a tiny squeak, the night so still you can hear the soft limp flapping of their leathery wings. The water is as warm as the air, and smells like a gutted pickerel.

And then from the north a loon cries out . . . and about a quarter mile south, its reply; they call out to one another several times, each waiting patiently for the other to finish for they never interrupt. O what wailing! But there's no joy in it, only vast inconceivable time, the kind that eclipses everything.

A lamp is on in the cottage; it shines out weakly through the wide picture window just as it did a lifetime ago. Somewhere behind the glass, and moving through the lamplight's familiar glow, my mother quietly celebrates her forty-fifth summer here, contending with a husband, my father, whose trousers keep falling down, because at eighty-four, he is turning into a boy.

The question
slowly vanishes—
eyes well up
when an eternity late
Tithonos lifts his glance

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end

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