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Braving Big Bear Lake

by Mary Langer Thompson


     For Claudia



Like our domed white observatory that

studies the sun, I watched

you in the bow, pictured

the two of you married.

We waited for darkness.


Light music played on KBHR.

We laughed as the boat tipped when

my son moved close to you,

my little family so seldom together.

A kindness of ravens encircled us.


Maybe you will become his bride.

Anchor him, I thought.

God knows I was tired of this

gaining and losing before

fully gaining.


We turned on the lantern.

You said you’d like to drive.

“Mom, let her,” my son kidded.

“She won’t hit anything.”

Those ravens might have been a murder of crows.


Fireworks exploded into

stars, hearts, teardrops.

Motoring back, avoiding the

unlit moored boats, we agreed:

It was the best Fourth.


But today the observatory’s a white sepulcher.

And we’re not waiting for dark enough.

It’s enough dark.





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