ON A LAKESIDE MORNING
there’s a shimmer in the trees and waves
borne from the coupling of wind and light
the reed-necks incline toward shore
as though they listened to something there;
the dock planks groan, the fire pit's last embers brood
red, then ash, then lifted in smoke—
spent scraps of the forest, unread pages
in the great novel of the wood.
A story is already there,
written in bark and sap,
the text read not by lantern
or candle, or flame,
but in the warming by its heat,
in the way it holds a stare.
A deer grazes in the dew-glint
sunfish jaw for grubs in the weed beds
the great-horned owl surveys from its roost.
To see the sudden unfolding of plumage—
like curtains thrust aside to fill a room—
before lifting from the branch
is the lifted strain from a reader in that dim study
in which we often find ourselves,
too engrossed to rise—or even reach—
for the nearest light
until another flips the switch or pulls the chain
to ease our tired eyes.
Sewell Lake, MN
August 24, 2015
Painting: The Blue Rigi Lake of Lucerne Sunrise
William Turner, 1842
Watercolor on paper