It’s the peeling birch and the lake glimpsed through it,
sheets buckling in wind, the emerald seams of moss
between pavers, three children rounding a bend.
Sky bluer than vetch, a small hare on the garden path
deciding, and the lake roiled, her waves no longer
steadily east but blown hard to the far side. Beyond
evergreens edged with gorse before the path ends,
the blackberries are humming with dragonflies,
beyond that, the sheep and the hawthorn hedge
where the rain has not yet begun, where the thrush
move in and out of wind in the quiet that is theirs,
where music begins and body skates with mind’s
whim. It’s beauty oblique as wooden shutters close
on a seam of light and a husband’s glance travels
like a fox on a path, staring back, will you follow?
CATHERINE STAPLES is the author of The Rattling Window and Never a Note Forfeit. Her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, and others. She teaches in the Honors and English programs at Villanova University.