LIFE IN WHITE by Michael W. Eliseuson


I have seen alligators,
And I have seen a water moccasin,
Floating in the canal like a long black stick,
With a sharp bend on one end.

I have seen the sun rise,
And set,
And rise again,
But it does neither of those,
The earth just turns,
And turns,
And turns.

Of myself,
I have seen little,
For the months have emptied me,
And filled me up again,
With fireflies and turtles,
Hawks and deer and otters.

I have been emptied and filled,
And I am the canal waters,
Deep and still,
Green and rippled,
Or flat calm as a mirror,
Even beseechingly.

Indian Rudy,
Teaches me without teaching,
Rich teaches me without trying,
Rob teaches me by saying nothing,
Just shakes my hand over and over,
And stares away at things I cannot see.

I am the new one,
In this old land,
Palmed and vined,
Pined and prickled,
Made strong by sand,
Made slow by basking turtles,
Made grateful by cool breezes,
On blazing hot sopping days.

Made well by constant simple fare,
Mostly vegetables and fruits,
Bread and water,
The staples of camp life,
I leave sadly in a fortnight,
Gladly knowing I will return,