It’s Too Late

by Britton Gildersleeve


For the houseboat in Amsterdam.

The snake of blue

through the city

will wind without me

turn to ice beneath

canal skaters

crack and melt in spring

and bloom again with boats

and I will not see

any of this



in the tall grass prairie

I will watch my inland

creeks glaze

with rime

too thin for birds

that glide

across the pale sky

like dreams of boats

tied beside a pier

in a city

of wooden shoes


Originally published in This Land: Winter 2016