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Pocono Lakeside

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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 (Poetry)

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

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Pocono Lakeside

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  • 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 exposed to contemporary poetry, saw it valued, heard poems read aloud by their authors. I was deeply moved and knew this was the kind of writing I wanted to create.”
     
    Wolf is the author of two books of poetry, Immersion (2011), selected by Denise Duhamel for the Hilary Tham Capital Collection, and Conversations During Sleep (1998), which won the Anhinga Prize for Poetry. Her chapbook, The Keeper of Light (1995), won the Painted Bride Quarterly Poetry Chapbook Series....

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