Indian Summer at Lands End, by Stanley Kunitz


The season stalls, unseasonably fair,

blue-fair, serene, a stack of golden discs,

each disc a day, and the addition slow.

I wish you were here with me to walk the flats,

toward dusk especially when the tide is out

and the bay turns opal, filled with rolling fire

that washes on the moldering wreck offshore,

our mussel-vineyard, strung with bearded grapes.

Last night I reached for you and shaped you there

lying beside me as we drifted past

the farthest seamarks and the watchdog bells,

and round Long Point throbbing its frosty light,

until we streamed into the open sea.

What did I know of voyaging till now?

Meanwhile I tend my flock, small golden puffs

impertinent as wrens, with snipped-off tails,

who bounce down from the trees. High overhead,

on the trackless roads, skywriting V and yet

another V, the southbound Canada express

hoots of horizons and distances. . . .

From “Passing Through” by Stanley Kunitz. (Norton: $18.95; 175 pp.) 1995 Reprinted by permission.