Finding Myself Quitting My Job

By the lake, just in time.
Sweet water ocean tossed
over rocks by the moon’s
sleight of hand.

We warm by degrees,
reluctant to give over
to change. I feel ornery
like my banging first
floor radiator.

Steam rises to meet a peeled-back sky.
Swallowing perfumes of honeysuckle,
apple blossom, columbine, I am
caught by the freedom of chance.
Young again, my whole life ahead,
I am white, black, a wet image
dodged and burned in a darkroom.

Hopeful clumps of seeds
focus inside to out. I touch
my throat as if it were
a butterfly. Here

is how a robin sounds. And there
stumbling drunkenly under a crumb,
the corrugated body of an ant
lost in a familiar place.

Linda Back McKay is a poet and writer living in Minneapolis. She is author of The Cockeyed Precision of Time, Ride That Full Tilt Boogie and a new poetry collection titled Of Roses and Fine Cabernets, to be published by Nodin Press in 2011.