Thursday, July 23, 2009


I name my daughters for green mountain
lakes, for great aunts in golden oval

photographs, for the months they are born
into – the strange tension of one season losing

itself in another. With these names I stitch
them into the world- tie their feet to the soft

forest floor of this valley, their fine hair
to wisps of white around the Mission mountains
at first light.

Today I drove against
the paved heat of highway 83

as it hugs the edge of Salmon Lake, the glint
of water only feet away, no guardrail, and I

remembered the brother of a boy I once loved
who, one night before leaving for college, drove

his car straight into the green. He was disoriented
by the dark and the absence of other traffic,

by the reflection of his own lights that he mistook
for an oncoming car. I think that it is easy

to lose your way traveling so close
to so much water. I come back

to these lakes each summer,
drive the dusty July roads, pine pollen mixed

with ancient glacial sediment now rising
into the still air behind me.

My second daughter will be born
in a few weeks- I feel her restlessness

through my skin- it is such a small moment,
that instant of being born, that waits for her.

She is just beyond clear, the light at the end
of the day, indistinguishable if it comes from below
or above the surface.

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