A week or two every August for nine years
we lived our heart’s desire, surrounded by water
and birdsong and starlight;
pulled on bathing suits each morning
and stripped them off reluctantly at night

when we emptied the clumsy aquarium
filled daily with creatures aquatic or terrestrial,
best of all a tree frog whose gelatinous toes
splayed out on the tank’s sheer walls
hoisted him up to its artificial heaven.

Our children were small, then bigger; outgrowing
the glistening sunfish they reeled in off the dock,
evenings playing Scrabble or watching meteors scatter.
They became restless, requiring frequent trips to town
where they checked their e-mail at the library

and browsed the stores for unnecessary purchases:
t-shirts bearing silly slogans, exploding candy.
Soon friends bussed up north to join them
in long secretive conversations on the dock,
late nights watching movies on their laptops.

Eventually the cottage failed to contain them.
We could no longer spy on their antics.
Summers are long now in the hot city
waiting for them to email us from
wherever they go next.

A Warm December by Leah Dockrill

A Warm December by Leah Dockrill

About Susan Glickman

Susan Glickman is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Smooth Yarrow (2012); three novels, The Violin Lover (2006), The Tale-Teller (2012), and Safe as Houses (2015); a trilogy of children’s books; and The Picturesque & the Sublime: A Poetics of the Canadian Landscape. She is a freelance editor and also teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.

About Leah Dockrill

Leah Dockill was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and educated at Dalhousie University, where she earned degrees in Education and Law, and at the University of Alberta, where she graduated with a master’s in Library Science. She has worked as a reference librarian and has practiced law. Since adolescence, Leah has yearned to be an artist and art has been her chief pursuit for the past twenty years. Her paintings have been exhibited in group shows and in both private and public galleries across Canada. She is an elected member of the Colour and Form Society and the Society of Canadian Artists. Leah lives in Toronto with her husband and two very elegant Maine Coon cats. See more of her work on her website.

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