the eddy

The train has stopped by an eddying stream
of water late in arrival at the bottom of a hill.
The eddy curls back on itself as it slips over a log
and the log slips from me as the train restarts,
the restless heaving churl of the engine here again.   

Is it the eddy that makes us include the bits
we did not want? Is it the curving hill that means
snow shapes our pathway? or just the cold black
thought that the eddying of memory never
brings back even a swallow of the days
in which I wandered and left, and jumped
off the high stones in a ravine, near our lake.
Ravine, lake, stone, eddy, all to be leapt
Hurry body hurry. My time, almost quit.

NANCY LEONARD, Professor of English Emerita at Bard College, has published articles and reviews of British and American poetry and drama. Her poems have appeared in Conjunctions, The IWT Journal, and Bard Papers.