The Newlyweds Next Door, from Poems across the Big Sky II, a Montana Anthology

The Newlyweds Next Door

They ski across the lake into the storm
and the sting of tiny flakes
until—what?—their hearts beat madly

into the wind that begins across the flat
of the world and rattles
my window—their edges dim

shapes grow small—
not really rattles
because the house is solid and the window is big and my room

warm and from here I watch
as their tiny figures become one and slip
blind into the blizzard.

Now I can only imagine
or remember the snap of snow against their coats
and their lungs burning and the lost sound

of skis and the lights from shore
gone in the white roar.
Now it’s only they and their bodies

and their world narrowed
to just a few yards wide
where they stop, finally

to catch their breaths and shout
gleefully to each other and hear their voices
swirl, where they’ll turn

and turn some more, tracks blown over—how
will they know
which way to go?

But they don’t go yet.
For as long as they can
they feel their smallness fill the world

and yes, this is where their hearts begin to ache
gladly, blown madly loose and tucked
down into the joy

into the pull of it, into the wild light
weight of it. There, then, wind at their backs in the middle
of the lake, they begin to ski again.

They can’t believe their how fast they fly.
Through watery eyes
they watch for ghost

trees and yellow lights
on shore—gliding
full speed toward a home they trust

with pure animal heat to be where they left it
where they imagine it to be.
I wait for them to reappear

a face at the window floating
in too much time and lost
in white, wait and slowly

disappear with all the rest
until two in one—there, a tiny figure from a dream
—I resurrect as they do.