Monday, May 9, 2011

Circling Lake Elizabeth At Noon

We climb over bleached wood
following the lake, slip on sand
and watch ducks effortlessly
sail toward shore.

On a whim, they can lift their wings
and fly to the other side
where our car is parked.
After three miles of a rugged hike,
I want that privilege.

Girls in my family
descend from women
who understood the art
of shape-shifting.

Rest the body, spill the spirit
into another form --
plant or animal
scent or shadow,
a blessed act of survival.

More scratches on the leg, thistle pods
rattling in the wind, and I attempt
to practice my ancestor's skill.

You laugh at this, your wife
a sudden, self-confirmed witch.

Nothing happens,
so we move on
shedding stamina
along a trail that seems endless
and lets its landscape murmur in haze.

A few lizards
scatter in the weeds
disturbed by our footsteps,
leaving stones to simmer
in the sun.

Your hand tightens
around my own. A short cut
comes into view. We approach
zigzagging between patches
of dry clay and wet clumps of grass.

In my other hand,
the Dasani bottle glistens,
a blue dazzle of light.

I feel weightless, hard to catch
as a dragonfly passes
over marsh leaves and water.

No aim
just a trance in flight.

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