Before the Wars

before the wars
before cancer
before responsibilities
i would paddle a canoe

to the lake’s core
to inhale life’s answers
to observe its uncertainties
i would wait for the view

as the clouds moved
as the colors bloomed
as the sun waned
i would think of the future

how i approved
how i assumed
how vain
i lacked humor

dismissing the world
nothing but dreams
drinking Jim Beam
watching a bald eagle nest