the loons are hushed

the loons are hushed
one after another
my heart pretends to sleep
     ~ M. Wilkie

The difficulty began when pretending stopped being fun and the loons, one after another, stopped laughing at dusk.  A particular stranger noted the silent pond, the frayed stars, a place in the shallows where the water was pink.  What made the stranger particular was his youth:  his long bones had not finished growing, freckles ruled his face, a cowlick ruled his hair.   

What made the water pink was paint, water-based paint, a gallon bucket tipped and run out like thick ink on the shore.   

He was the boy, this stranger with buckets of color, who might have been.   

Now the stars fray further, all but unravel over the pond gone entirely pink with fading day.  Wounds heal.  My heart pretends to sleep.