Sunday, February 28, 2016

Loons on a Maine Lake

Photo: (c) Joel Clement

When I was a young girl we went to a cabin
in Maine that belonged to Grandma Boo.
It sat beside a big lake. I don’t remember
its name, but it was summer and I caught
dragonfly larvae – big darners – that left
their thin-shelled bodies behind on the porch
screens and so I escorted them – blue and
green with wings – into the large world on
the palm of my hand.

They chose the sky for company, but return,
sometimes, alighting in memories.

At dusk, misty twilight, the boys  – teen or
maybe twentyish – next door skinny dipped,
diving in from the lip of their dock, swimming
to a pined island midway. I can still hear the
plunge – one, two.  The rawness fascinated
me, awoke something.

So, I started swimming then too, short strokes
around the edges of our dock and catfish came
to me, like a gift, nibbling my toes, swirling
– silky – between my dog-paddling legs. Catfish.
There was something magical about those fish
and I never once wanted to catch them.

But, this story is actually about loons and how
they cried and vanished, appeared some place
else, and vanished again, and how they did
this for hours.

Even as a little girl I knew that I was
seeing my life:

How I would vanish
and how I must learn
to use my voice before
I do.

© 2016-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Conversations with Mary"(a work in progress)

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