God,
it seemed impossibly far north.
Another country, language.
Snow on the ground since Thanksgiving, more
than we’d ever seen before.
Isolation within, desolation without.
Hush on the frozen pond, rattle in the reeds.
Slate-grey ice, slate-grey sky.

God,
I went further north again.
Water all around me: Above
and below, salt sting in my eyes.
One last wave. Make it count.
God, the ache of it. Rocking beside my board
in the tidepool. Couldn’t bear the thought
of leaving, letting go: Death of a dream,
birth of —