The dam engineers have lowered the lake.

This annual event allows winter’s frigid

temps to strike dangerous shoreline vegetation

where it hurts most—at their nuisance roots.

(Nuisance from the Latin nocere – “to harm”)

The lake dropping five feet is a can’t-miss

as anybody with one eye and horse sense knows.

When the lowering is complete, it is apocalyptic.

(Apocalyptic from the Greek apokalupsis – “to reveal”)


The woman stumbling down Central Avenue

barked loud enough for all to hear: “It’s a metaphor!”

I bet she wasn’t talking about winter lake levels,

but then again who knows when you’re downtown

on a tourist strip where tarot readings bloom.

Perhaps she was, Simeon’s sister searing us

with the truth of Advent’s card: This child—

so that the thoughts of many hearts will be

revealed, a sword will strike your own roots too.

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  1. sandy hay on December 9, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Thank you John for blessing us with your words here, for the visual they give and the humor. Merry Christmas.

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