The mint leaves display their full herbage
now, in late August when mornings
fade the mists on the lake that linger
too long, and the days chip minutes
away from their casts. Even the cicadas
and crickets are sluggish with their songs.
The sun descends earlier now, behind
the roof of the inn, though the leaves glimmer
shards of gold and green among
their reflections. The wind is bored
with such trivialities. You sit in the mint
patch by the back door, an upright blossom
among so many spiky green horizontals.
We speak of the ghosts that glitter in
the halls and how we glimpse figures
that blink out when we avert our eyes;
I’ve heard of the little girl who drowned
in the lake and now sits at the end
of the caretaker’s bed, opening
the doorway of her blemished perspectives.
Distracted by our conversation, you weave
three brittle blades of grass pinched
from the weedy lawn, stiff as rheumatic knees
on a windy day, into a loose braid softened
by the ministrations of your fingers.
The fibres bend as you swivel the cable
round my wrist and secure it with a knot;
I adore it because you made it with your hands
and you tell me how much you missed me
while I was gone and I adore your laughter
tingling the air like the aluminum music
from the spout of a watering can.
Caroline Misner’s work has appeared in numerous publications in the USA, Canada, India and the UK. She has been nominated for the Journey Prize for the short story “Strange Fruit”; in 2011 another short story and a poem were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands of Northern Ontario, where she continues to draw inspiration for her work. She is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Daughters of Eldox. Her latest novel, The Spoon Asylum, was released in May of 2018 by Thistledown Press and has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award. More: carolinemisner.com