A Week on Squam Lake
Torre A. DeVito
I had never heard a loon cry
Until that first night in New Hampshire
At the lake house in Holderness
While we nine friends (more like one family:
five siblings with four parents)
Talked and joked and made loon-puns:
About birdsī underwear (panta-loons),
And big mean ugly birds (loon-goons).
Meanwhile the haunting, lonely sound
Entered my soul.
And then that first brisk morning
We woke before the fish
Picked our way between the wisps
Of silent silver mist to cast our lines to the dark water.
It was the last time a summer day
Would seem to linger for a brief eternity
Those languid days which stretched
before me like the lake, yet rushed behind me
Like the wake of our small motorboat
The last warm days of a summer that had begun
With the death of a friend
And would soon fade into the autumn
of my childhood.
Even now I hear the sounds
Of days that ended way too soon:
The lap of water against the boat,
A fat trout flapping on the dock,
Slap of paddles, outboardīs drone,
The laughter, and the loons.