One Midsummer Night

The evening drinks the sun down,
a slow, smooth swallow
lingering on the tongue.
The light caresses the wildflowers,
stretches shadows for me to follow.
The sky is one long brushstroke.
I am so lucky.

The noble cows watch me roll past with indifference,
The lily pads wave me on.
This is the Ottawa Valley,
lush, well-worn, warmly welcoming.
I am on my way home from camping with Bonhomme,
a scant day and a half of splendour.
Hours of lugging and tugging,
planning and packing,
setting up and taking down,
all for a mere overnight stay.
I made this happen.

I remind myself of the delight on his face as he held a 6-foot grey ratsnake in his hands, courtesy of the park ranger,
as I make my eighth trip into the house carrying in gear,
weighing the cost of a precious vacation day from work.
There were blue-finned sunfish in the water this morning,
as the geese ate their breakfast of lawn nearby.
We kayaked over the same fish in the afternoon, Bonhomme proclaiming himself an expert paddler.
We discovered frogs the size of thumbnails,
saw centipedes curl and fireflies wink,
I remember as I resist the call of my lullaby tires.
We learned the four calls of the loon.
There was quiet colouring,
and noisy tent peg hammering,
hooting and tooting while walking in the middle of the carefee road.
It was worth it.

The half moon applauds me with its full belly
(knowing full well that I’ve been up before the sun),
for making memories,
for teaching one small boy how big it feels to be free.


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