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The Worrier
       boaters, Lake Superior
by Nancy Takacs

Why are the neighbors having a party?

Because I hear they're always sailing,
home now for a few weeks, and want
to be friendly to everyone who lives
on this ridge, they both
know and don't know.

They have a yurt with a clear view of the lake
and he has his eye on another
neighbor and hopes she comes.

What will you bring?

Greens: arugula, curly lettuces,
garlic-scapes. Everything looks
perfect at the end of summer.

What is the man like?

Small. Wears a baseball cap. He was the head of some
sort of company his whole life. Wrapping paper.

What is the woman like?

She's taller, bigger. She wears t-shirts
and just came back from visiting family in Germany,
has a good smile, snowshoes.

Do you know anything else?

No, that's all I know.

Where did you find out about the "eye on another neighbor"?

The neighbor from up the hill told me
in the winter when I'm not around,
there is so much going on here,
but she didn't want to tell me everything.

What will you wear?

My old jeans.
My Bohemian blouse.

What will your husband wear?

His new jeans,
his soft gray shirt.

Is he a boater?

Yes, not a sailboater,
but he'll know all of their terms.

Will he talk at the party then?
A little.
From across the room,
I'll watch the ease of his shoulders,
the purl of his beard. His one silver earring.

What will the menu be?

Jerk chicken, cold slaw. Wine. Wisconsin Ales.

Do you want to go?

I do. But I never know what to say.

Why not?

I talk about gardening, and no one is interested.

What gardening things will you talk about?

The coolness has kept the lobelia so blue this year.

I've made new winding paths with lake stones.

The hummingbirds are swarming the bee balm.
Will they all be sailors?

Most of them.
What will you say when they mention
their love of certain harbors,
and where they still want to go?

I'll look for the maples that have red hands.

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