The Course of Early Evening on Great Pond

There will come a time in the course of everything

I do when each thing done is done a final time. A handful
will be momentous if nothing more than infrequent—
dragging my kayak from the barn for the last first time

in March, stringing tomato plants in mid-May, and then
plucking the final blushing fruit from the vine, a snap
decipherable only to the elbow. My gardening encore, my
muddied waltz over carrots and beet greens, the denouement

to my growing season. I’ve been weaving a sweater from
these yarns, the collar now a turtleneck, the sleeves cuffed
well above the elbows. I drown in the wool of marriage,
raising children, building a home, and then a second home,
burying my wife in her own frayed cardigan. And now

with my elbows firmly stationed on this Adirondack, my eyes
fixated on nothing, the falling sun brings the lake
to fire. A loon paddles twenty meters out between
floating torches, wishing to head for the coast
before his last November strikes. As we glance at
each other, I play out this certain Armageddon as the sun
plummets closer to our perches, the two of us watching

the world smolder between explosions. He might dive
to afford himself a few extra minutes, while I, alone on
this porch, look upwards at the nothing I’ve always known,
and fall octaves below the woodwinds of day’s end.


Keith Love