“Sharing My Canoe” by William Doreski

Thanks for sharing my canoe.
Yes, I drift around the pond
all day, reading and trusting
what I read, tasting the onset
of colder weather, aching for
the affection of migrating birds.

I’m glad to have you examine
notes I’ve taken on the poems
of Wallace Stevens. So many
secrets to set me blinking and wise,
so much texture to smooth me.

You with your decided flesh
offer coffee custom brewed
to seduce me into a lower case
version of myself. Why bother
with the niceties of literature
when the pond exhumes itself
in stink of leaf decay and fish?

Here comes rain to impress
its wax seal on everything sweet.
Refreshing with fragrance of stone,
revising the last unfallen leaves.
You fold my pages into yourself
and look homeward or shoreward
with the slightest tinge of fear.

We should always be this subtle,
leaving only the faintest ripples
as the canoe I refuse to paddle
sketches a simple hieroglyph
only the pond itself can read.



William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent book is Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston.

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