Pocono Lakeside

By Michele Wolf Michele Wolf
As I was guided by the director through the thick space
Of these rooms, worn sparrow brown, and strode
With the August sun on my shoulders across this particular
Acre of grass, nobody had told me this was the place
Where you had summered as a boy.  I have weathered
My fourth decade, older now than you were
When you died. I can barely remember you, yet I can see
You not as my father but as my son. You are age nine.
The downpour divides into two massive stage curtains
Parting. You bolt from the bunk, loudly racing
With your chums down the slippery hill to the dock,
Your cape of a towel flapping as if ready to lift you airborne.

You are the smallest. Still, you always run in the front.
You do not know how beautiful you are, of course, squinting
Against the sun, the flame that escapes behind the gray
Vapor for hours, sometimes for days. You cannot see
That from the beginning it has been eyeing you from afar,
That it has focused its golden spotlight just for you.

Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (February 2000).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2000 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

February 2000
 Michele  Wolf


Poet, teacher, and editor Michele Wolf was raised in Miami, but has spent much of her life in New York City or just outside Washington D.C., in Maryland. She earned degrees from Boston University and Columbia University, and began to write poetry seriously after winning a scholarship in non-fiction to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. There, Wolf says, she had a “transformative experience…it was the first time I was . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Youth

Poetic Terms Elegy

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.