1960: the town was little more than the Red Owl grocery store,
Rux's gas station, and a welcome center
with a totem pole in front of it. That pole still stands.
The Red Owl is now a Sentry. Mr. Rux, who had an ice house in back,
left oily prints on the car with each fill-up.
My husband Stan has been going with me there
for twenty years. Mom is dead
and dad has creaky knees so he can't go.
Stan packs binoculars to look at loons and eagles.
Our rented cabin is on top of a small hill
overlooking Little Lake St. Germain. It's not so little—
it has five bays. We're on No-fish bay.
We don't fish anyway.
Sometimes I think I'd like to live there all year,
but winters are cold and snowy. I need
a longer growing season. I take orders from dahlias.
In winter we look at pictures we took in June.
Snow on the sill, we see pink ladyslippers,
groves of them. My mom is there
and isn't there—in the pink
pouch of a ladyslipper,
the tip of a cinnamon fern.