Lake Huron, 1989 by Natalie Tomlin
It's not easy to name oblivion, even under fluorescent lights, where discounted throw
pillows and wooden placards bantered like bar flies: It's always happy hour at the lake.
Peace, Love, Sandy Feet. Don't be crabby, you're at the beach. At age nine, I pleaded the
fifth, placed my hand on my heart and plunged, counted bangles of blood thrumming in
my ear drums. Memories made at the lake last a lifetime. My hair was seaweed brushing
rocks, their muted colors suddenly brilliant and only the hum of power boats, faraway
click of stones, or thunder pushed from my nose reminded me that I belonged upward,
where beach houses fringed the beach with their walls of windows. I'd rather be lost at
the beach than found at home. Those cool windows, unblinking eyes of fish. They didn't
seem to notice that I had arrived.
March in the Keewenaw by Ruth Moerdyk
Torn between seasons,
lakes shake free of ice.
in a sheltered bay men fish from pickup trucks.
A quarter mile out, they trust winter -
its strong-frozen endurance.
Not under the pines hanging low,
anxious for new nests.
bare against a blue sky.
Today hear the unbound waters.
Spring Thaw, by Judith Scott (detail)
Dystopia by Johanna Lozano
I return to you, my great lake, too late
when even the invaders are carcass,
twisted in driftwood, graveyard gray.
As much of you fogged the sky
as decays in your wasting basin.
Oil foams brown on your shore.
Nothing is left but death and synthetic
wilted birthday balloons, purple plastic
soda cup buckets, styrofoam shoes.
I lift the broken bottom of a green glass bottle
up to cold sun to remember when we were young
to tint the earth its color of birth, recall it green,
when in spring, the trees would bud,
yellow-rumped warblers sing.
My bare feet were warmed smooth
on birch steps up the dune.
Your mounded back laughed
as I ran my fingertips past your grass.
The crest felt like an open page,
so I rolled my story north to you.
You were every shade God made
of blue, wrapped in rainbow rock.
The painted edge of my whole world.
I would use the word bathe
to enter you, drenched in sunset.
But now you are bathed
in Beethoven's moonlight.
You have turned into cold ankle heartache,
into ash sucking sand, the sound in empty end
of the last raven's caw. Abandoned.
I am sorry for my silence.
I am sorry I felt discarding you was best.
I am sorry to find so little of you left.