Spring Breakup

— Diane Moomey

smooth, so solid, so smooth.

We’d put in at the boat ramp —
not at the grocer’s dock, though that was closer,
paved lot shaved smooth, but at the ramp —
and not that our boat or any boat
was going out that day, lake ice
two feet thick from shore to shore.

The boat ramp . . .
its gravel lot was full of snow —
the dog, first out the door, peed steaming yellow
and flung herself from drift to drift.

Full of snow, and easy, its ramp slick and easy,
easy, and so our toboggan load of weekend kindling,
and charcoal, of olives and romaine — the olive oil
already in the cabin, now clouded with cold —
our load of milk and steaks and onions,
of red wine and dog kibble slid
like butter down to the lake.

We were new.

I remember the toboggan was red, its poly ropes
yellow, and that we took turns pulling. The wind!
In the middle, ice was bare and clear — we lay down,
pressed our noses close, looked for fish
or something, and marveled
that we walked on water.

It was a good weekend, and solid:
fire and wine, no sign of melt to come
but we, freshmen to this country,
did not know its seasons . . .

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