Because of a death, I returned to the city after well over half a century, where I spent most of my school days. But little is still as I know it on the way to school, and the bridge on which I stop because my hip hurts is no longer the one I used to walk almost twice at the time. The river is of course the same, still the same tired gray water. And also a wooden paddle boat ... In the past I could have sat in there if I had some money to treat myself to such a pleasure. Now a young girl is sitting in it, and from a distance, I notice, she smiles at me. I nod and she stops paddling and lets the boat drift. Cared for her, student, and how she behaved - as if she knew me well; now she even waves, as if for a special greeting. And then the boat slides under the bridge. I can't get to the other side: the hips, of course, and the traffic in the six lanes is noisy, fast and loud.
from across the big lake
to the gray of the sky