Walking pathless among the swamp birch
at the western end of the pond, I’ll emerge
to find a line of mountains waiting
across the white caps, and a wind pacing
the shore, glad to give me its accounting.
But still in the confines of these woods I hold
this compass rose before me like a suitor,
anxious to find the patient inlet stream
that opens to the waves and to the sun
that mottles the morning forest floor.
The needle knows just minutes and degrees
and nothing of the stream I’m seeking,
where water cooled by recent rains calls trout
from the pond’s deep holes with its song of moss
and foaming falls. And so I’m aiming off,
targeting the shore far north of where
I wish to be, to guarantee the stream
will appear at some point on my southern way--
trading time for a surety of space,
while the sun slides along its westerly track,
and the stream falls within its ancient banks
and the wind still races everywhere,
as if there were some date it had to keep.
About the Author: Kevin Casey is the author of And Waking... (Bottom Dog Press, 2016), and the chapbooks The wind considers everything (Flutter Press) and For the Sake of the Sun (Red Dashboard). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Green Briar Review, and Ted Kooser's syndicated newspaper column, "American Life in Poetry."