Just Checking

Just Checking

This morning I’m off to check the ice
though I’m darned if I know why
the mercury’s yoyo-ing madly
its numbers way too high

this house, though lovely, feels a cage
my work-out’s a deadly bore
and somehow I’ve simply got to know
what our beautiful swamp has in store

will this morning’s chilling 18 degrees
slow those frisky H-2-O’s
so a frustrated hundred and sixty pounds
can skate where it dreams to go?

but down at the swamp, the one-inch ice
sang it’s same-old song to me
and I sat at the edge like an ancient sage
there was no better place to be

with a sailor’s life-long instinct
I checked the swamp-edge reeds for wind
as the sun crept down and gladdened
the far-shore’s pines again

but the silence wasn’t quite total
or I’d hear the heart’s slow throb
there was the drone of commuters
heading to school or job

I thought of the decades that lay behind
when my routines well were bound
by deadline hustles and raising kids
and so rare was leisure found

so here I sit and I wonder
have these years a Buddha made
or only an old fart washed ashore
with body and mind a-fade?

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