To avoid the dreary houses and litter left on the sidewalks, jetsam since the last wave of snow, that present rolled back into the past, something like a wave at the beach, I walk the Old Indian trail along Lake Bemidji. The crunch of snow crushed under my boot mixes with my mumbling as I comb the detritus of my thoughts. At the trail’s edge red snow’s haloed by brindled tufts of fur. It reminds me of you, something in the absence like a memory, mute as the swallows’ nests safe under the cabin’s eaves silent this season. And now I hear the frozen lake’s sleeptalking hum as it rolls under its sheet. It reminds me of the way you said falling stars in the hollows of a swallow’s bones sound in the song we live when we’re asleep. Brightly colored fish houses dot the lake ice. Who will tuck me in, sing me a lullaby tonight?