Sketch of a poem, written at Procter Center while looking out the chapel window at the lake

Winter white on the moving water,
reflected not only from the snow,
but the trees, the day, the surrounding weeks –
the world is bleached.

My grandmother made everything clean.
She ate wall paper paste when a refugee
with two small children in tow,
and everywhere was trampled snow.
Later her hands always smelled of bleach,
her skin was tight, it shone,
looked breathed on and polished,
incomplete in dampened light –

not scarred, but something far beyond
my knowledge was reflected in her skin.

And now the cold lake, moving winter
that knows everything it knows,
water that goes and goes
within its own flat glaze,
the colors almost fade,
the tints lay rigid and subdued –
yet the world is too much,
too true.

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