"I waded out into the lake to pick you
a water lily," I told the priest I was in love with
in my younger years, as I handed him the flower
in a bowl of water. He's 92 now, and ailing--
brilliant mind as sharp as ever. I doubt
he ever knew I adored him from afar, sang
in his choir, sat in rapt attention nights
in the old parish hall, one more upturned
face in his Inquirer's Class.
The old hall is demolished now, where once I
taught Sunday School with few credentials
other than that small children invariably found
the child in me. And, anything, just anything,
for our acknowledged leader. Authority
figures? They were gods to me!
Water lilies are decorating the perimeter
of our lake, now, that part of it I call mine. "Giverny,
chez moi" - pristine faces among flat green pods,
whiter than white; buttery centers, pushing
through the refuse the yard guy left after he
mowed summer growth at the lake's edge.
How I deplored the ugly circles spoiling the skin
of the lake that the mower deposited.
in his wake.
Then, serendipity! the gift the giftie gie us--
up through the rude refuse like a water goddess,
masses of lilies brought their ravishing beauty,
the healing prescription of their daylight full-
bloom, the secretive folding up into themselves
at nightfall. Closure... Rhythmic initiation of
the life cycle. Moments from a Monet print.