Down the street from my boyhood home
is Lake Ontario; my bedroom window
frames the harbor: breakwall, buoys, and lighthouse.
Beacons break the dark with random red pulses
and a broad beam of light sweeps the water –
north east south west, around and around and around.
Once in a blue moon the beacons pulse at once,
as if to acknowledge your rapt attention.
Stormy weather is the best time to gaze –
when the foghorn sounds, it says you’re doomed
to loneliness and sorrow, if not in so many words.
We swam there and used a buoy near the breakwall
like a giant toy – we clambered aboard, tried to topple it, as if
we Oswego boys could do what Lake Ontario gales never could!
– Dave Read