On the way back from Halifax
we received word that Carlos had died/
diving into a pool, while his friends looked on, breaking his neck.
Pale blossoms, each balanced on a single jointed stem
My book was open to a poem by Roethke. The alders bowed.
And leaves curled back in elaborate Corinthian scrolls
My own son was in Berlin, beginning to mourn for the first time,
the air cool, as if drifting down from wet hemlocks,
Would we ever get him back? We were drifting,
or rising out of ferns not far from water—
nothing could be decided. We looked at the sea, clear of fog,
a crisp hyacinthine coolness.
Then as we drove up to the cottage the whales came
like that clear autumnal weather of eternity
On another day we would have said, what good luck! Oh Carlos,
The windless perpetual morning above a September cloud.