My Life at Fifty

The roller coaster hills of
Vermont and Massachusetts
bear my daughter and me gently
up and down. Near the road,
under mantles of ice and old snow,
a brook runs blackly.

From a frozen pond glimpsed in passing,
an image imprints on my memory
as if my mind had snapped a picture
without a camera-a fallen branch
caught in the ice, its black twiggy ends
pointing towards the depths.

It haunts my mind like a ghost image,
the negative Xray of a hand,
reaching through solid pond
to buried earth. I think,
My life's a half-century over.

Overhead telephone wires shine
like gold necklaces in the waning sun,
jewels for the eye on our journey home
to where he waits for us-
husband and father. Expectantly,

I bless this life I had to learn to trust
and want to have, away from those
who raised me and their endless woes.

Now the sun is a red lozenge,
glowing and vanishing.
Still, my girl can see
to turn her pages in the dark.