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On Lake Amy Belle,
by Ralph Murre

and in another boat shop
on another hill on another shore,

my son is . . . maybe four. He's ready
for supper and the story I'll tell.

Maybe the one about the moon,
the loon and the lake. A distant bell.

Another pine plank curves
to another hull's flank.

Oakum and white oak and white lead.

My father's jack plane, sharp,
serves me still.

Are those my hands,
or the old man's?

There he is. The push and lift
of mahogany and oiled steel.

A pitchy shush of shaving,

pungent and translucent and long as afternoon,
curls from that blade, razor-honed.

There's my pa ‐ whistling, shaping a plank
and offering it up to the one before.

The lake that will get in
if the skiff's not right,

some kid, in fright, at the oars.

There I am . . . maybe four. I'm ready
for supper and the story he'll tell. Maybe

the one about a boy and a boat. A Labrador.
Maybe that one. Maybe one more.


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