House on the Patuxent River
Leaning back in wheezing chairs,
we prop our feet, eat apple cake
with raisins soaked in rum, and read
aloud in turns from Bishop’s poems.
Shapes of otherworldly firs emerge,
anchored in the ghostly fog.
We enter dreamy divagations in a bus
and pause to slide the glass doors open
for the cat, fur slick from spats of rain,
mewling back inside to claim a seat.
The driver’s a local who stops for moose.
The sky is darker than the water now.
Torrential rain arrives and surges through
slender willow trees to meet the sea.
Winds raise the spirit-level, and water
overflows the pilings. The bulwarks
are submerged, cattails sway in choppy
waves, and crab traps clang against the pier.