Up into the Sixties someone stayed out there

all year, keeping that light in the middle of the waves.

Just a lighthouse, it’s round big as the rock

it sat on, nothing else, out in the mindless

migration of whitecaps heading their numb anger

against the coast seven miles downwind.


Sometimes in mid-winter even the ore tankers

are chased off the lakes, and from the hills

a mile in off Good Harbor Bay you can hear

the water and wind at night as if a storm

has ripped a hole straight into space

and everything human is funneling straight up


into it. From the hills you can look out

and see the Crib light far offshore,

warning all of us who dare to think about it,

what it would be to be a man out there, on a rock

in the tearing white waves, tending a moment

of light in the black indifference of time.