In the yawn of dusk,
We drift home in Minnesota autumn,
Reciting the litany once more:
Dock in; boathouse latched;
Rugs rolled; plugs pulled;
Windows hinged; floors swept;
Pilots out; pipes drained;
Faucets opened; doors locked;
Hummingbird feeder taken down;
Key hanging in its secret place.
In the flicker of lights near the city's edge
We talk easily, gather within
All that the summer has given:
A great fish, slender and shiny,
Diving for bottom; loons calling
In the still afternoon;
Stars swirling above the rooftops.
Near home, vees of geese circle,
Circle in the shadows above us.
Later that night, we pause
On the stairs — winterward —
Unlock that other season
Where little puffs of winter dust
Rise when we open the door.