grey lake

Wide gray sky
Wide gray lake

Whitened reed stalks rustle,
wind-blown ripples ride the current

Wild geese swim in two long lines
arrowing to a point,
wings beating their reflections below,
heads lifting to moving clouds

Far back in wedge-arms
boys swim shout flap splash,
voices shrill above the birds' low chatter

A swimming girl watches,
heart beating for the lift,
underwater waves
pulsating on her beating legs

Icy raindrops sting red cheeks,
tap circles into
cloud reflections on dark shallows

Wings rise dripping
water slides from breast feathers
boys kick their torsos free
dark glistening bodies lift honking beat air
blow back the girl's hair

She calls
to the wedge in the sky small smaller
"Have a great winter!"

She hadn't known how else to say
heart beats lifts flies flies far

She watches, still

Boys slog ashore dripping, grinning,
sodden wools and tweeds stuck
with soft white down.

"Mountain and Lake (Lake George) (John Frederick Kensett) , 1895.708,” Harvard Art Museums collections online, Apr 02, 2024, https://hvrd.art/o/231712.

Illustration courtesy Rijksmuseum.nl. Yellowstone Lake. Collotype. Frank Jay Haynes. c.1886. This work belongs to Yellowstone National Park.