At Sacandaga lake, the murky water a screen / that shields the town. The mucky bottom coats my toes / as I anchor the dock on the shore, pushing poles / through the film of sunscreen on the surface.
Poetry by Joe Volpe
At Sacandaga lake, the murky water a screen
that shields the town. The mucky bottom coats my toes
as I anchor the dock on the shore, pushing poles
through the film of sunscreen on the surface.
A fish appears to me and I surrender my dry hair
to the open cavern of water, where rocks dawdle
with rinds of rotten fruit. The water
swallows even me. Coated in a film and warm
I surface to the lemon yellow sunlight,
cast between clouds in sweet foam, too sweet for lips
and tongue of mine, enduring. My grandfather balloons
in his life vest, warm in a cave of foam and rubber
barking directions to me and my father
over that warped and muggy surface.
As we approach noon, we sit at a greasy picnic table
and swallow the words we think, creasing the afternoon
that swells beneath the sky. As calm as light
the sand shifts slowly as the earth does
around our sharp silence. Back at the house so casually
bake its shingled sides, placed quickly but lovingly years ago
by my grandfather from what was once a dilapidated barn and cabin;
so casually built I think the sands of time will hold them in state forever.
Joe Volpe is a middle school English teacher in the Greater Boston area. Originally from Upstate New York, he attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he studied English with a concentration in Creative Writing and Poetry. His work has been selected for publication in Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Iris Poetry Journal, and Pinky Thinker Press by Mignolo Arts, among others. He is currently working on completing his first book of poetry.