Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At Lake Scugog

Troy Jollimore (2009)

Where what I see comes to rest,
at the edge of the lake,
against what I think I see

and, up on the bank, who I am
maintains an uneasy truce
with who I fear I am,

while in the cabin’s shade the gap between
the words I said
and those I remember saying

is just wide enough to contain
the remains that remain
of what I assumed I knew.

Out in the canoe, the person I thought you were
gingerly trades spots
with the person you are

and what I believe I believe
sits uncomfortably next to
what I believe.

When I promised I will always give you
what I want you to want,
you heard, or desired to hear,

something else. As, over and in the lake,
the cormorant and its image
traced paths through the sky.


dan said...

from The New Yorker (July 27, 2009)

Mary said...

Troy -
Were you writing at Lake Scugog Ontario? Could there be another?

I was a Washburn Island cottager at one time as a child and I was googling and came across your poem.

I'm a memoir writer and Scugog features in my story.

I know exactly how it is to be out in a boat on those waters. But your poem is about people in transition. Ilked it very much.