Ice Glen, a side trip on our trip to see old friends.
Our plan—a hike, and then there was the thought
of Hawthorne and Melville, a century before,
and their friends, sitting on boulders singing, drinking,
and “telling tales,” calling across a romantic mossed abyss—
I knew their incipient romance had crashed and burned….
Steamy August afternoon, old histories echoing,
the sun above us a reddening flame. Romantic
to have thought of hiking up, then down into the ravine,
the icy chasm someone had called a curious fissure.
Might it be like a bottomless well, I wondered,
we’d each drop a wishing stone into?
We only got close.
What you saw there you saw with your inner eye, a radiance;
what I saw was unfathomable, sunless, frigid
the air that turned us back—too cold for us,
but we were laughing as we fled back to Main Street,
embracing its biographies, and ours, so gaily.
Laughing, that’s how we’d always wanted to love,
with gladness, without reservation—and then we did.