Lake of the Lost Fisherman
Why did I come here?
Because of the name.
It was raining when I came.
My right eye was sick and running
tormented by the dimming light
and mushroom poisoning;
the left, in sympathy, was weeping.
The sun, what there was of it,
was stuck at almost night.
The twilight just went on and on.
I’m not a camper, not at home
in past or present tents.
I need the inside of a warm dry house
for personal humanity.
I’ve been warm enough
within my car/cocoon,
but had to keep it running
to stay that way,
burning toward the end of gas
far from the nearest pump.
I hid in the car waiting to decide
who I would have to be,
which one of me,
was brave enough to get too wet
before I could get dry and warm again.
My tent was shaped for lying down
in readiness for sleep if it would come,
but not for standing
or even sitting up to read.
It could be rightly called
an A-frame rain coat
if it didn’t leak.
How much exposure to the drizzle
would be the cost of setting up the tent
and laying down the sleeping bag in it
was the question.
The answer lay in doing it. I did
and got cold and wet,
miserably pathetic, not cut out for this,
I retreated to the car and heater.
There was another tent not far away,
I passed it coming in,
lit up like a lantern,
an anemic pumpkin.
Compared to mine,
tall enough to stand it,
wide and long enough for cots.
Appropriately within: three men
casting larger shadows
wisely staying in.
I did not see them clearly
except at first as something three.