Only the Tower Remains

By: Patrick Metcalf

Volume 15, Issue 8, August 2020

The sands of time scour away
even what has been etched into stone.
Yet one last trace is still visible from the village docks;
a single tower that stands alone.

She and her husband’s immaculate retreat
could be seen clearly across the channel from town.
A shining castle atop an emerald island once stood
like a sparkling jewel in the River’s majestic crown.

Calumet Island's Historic Water Tower which can be seen from Clayton, NY. Photo by Kim Lunman and published in "Calumet Island's Lost Castle," Thousand islands Life February 13, 2011

Lavish parties with hundreds of guests
arrived in exquisite yachts that filled the lagoon.
Music, laughter, and thousands of floating lanterns
illuminated the night and dimmed the moon.

But a life of wealth and privilege could not defy the inevitable;
the cruel and icy hand of Death.
The doctors delivered the fateful news
and she chose her castle as the place she would draw her last breath.

West and upriver toward the Great Lake
she gazed as the evening sun slowly set.
Her peaceful presence released
onto the granite shores of her beloved Calumet.

The abandoned castle fell silent,
and each day the morning sun shone and ships passed in the night.
Half a century and two world wars hence,
it was cleansed by fire and removed from sight.

Time flows onward and the view from the village docks
shows that only the tower remains.
Little else of hers has survived the passing years;
not her castle, her memory...  or her name.

By Patrick Metcalf

Patrick Metcalf began vacationing in the Thousand Islands, more than 20 years ago, when his grandmother and her two sisters rented three houses for a week, each summer in Fine View on Wellesley Island, and invited their families from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida. Patrick spends as much time as he can each summer, on the River, near Clayton, NY. He began writing to entertain his son Lee, who is now eight years old. Patrick resides in Shippensburg, PA, holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration, and is a Marine Corps veteran.

This month we present two pieces from Patrick, this poetry and a prose piece: "A Sailboat For My Son."  See all of his TI Life works here.

Posted in: Volume 15, Issue 8, August 2020, Poetry

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