Morning Trip (10)

“Backwater Pond: The Canoeists
Not for the fishermen’s sake
Do they drop their voices as they glide in from the lake,
And take to moving stealthily on that still water,
Not to disturb its stillness, hour on hour.
So that when at last a turtle, scuttling
Surprised from a stump, dives with a sudden splashing,
It startles them like a door slamming;
And then there is a faint breeze and echo of laughter
Dying as quickly, and they float still as before
Like shadows sliding over a mirror
Or clouds across some forgotten sky,
All afternoon, they cannot say why.”
–W.S. Merwin