In a cove on some cold Northern lake,
whose name I can’t remember,
nor does it matter, my feet sank
into mud and moss
among cattails near the shore
until water crept up clear around my ankles.
I tunneled with my toes
but found no bottom.
What was I then,
but alive and young?
The wind was in my blood,
though at that quiet hour, the air,
so thick and still, was like another skin
upon my shoulders, the lake, a single eye
for all the world.
Here was my mother’s womb,
her turbulent center, riven how many times
in love and terror? My father’s secret
dream of balancing stars
on the tips of his fingers.
And I a child of seven,
no more happy than alone.
Cold waters, you speak to me now
over sixty years later,
deep face of a world
Red wing blackbird.
Cry of the loon.
I, too, am a strange wild creature
in love with the terrible yearning
of earth for her own.