Three Poems

by Peter Mason

Self-Portrait of Childhood as Lake Ontario

After Airea D Matthews & Cynthia Cruz

I thought she was a bird drinking the meltwater

snowy owl—from its conical throne, nestled among
gowns of ice along my fingered lip

—that catch the small dead

glacialed bed of poured vessels

what has piled    in the dark—           
a gleaming bottom of scales

here, just beyond the beach I am        
still     the shoaled lie of safety

childhood and its blue-green bloom         
     the undrinkable sick of memory

viscera mercuried in a quiet wilt                 
and all the musseled death striped black

and white as winter

oh, how I wish she were a bird and not: