Once for a short while/ I lived by a lake.
—Denise Levertov

The lake remains; it will be there long
after I’m gone. There’s some comfort
in that. Just the other day
I saw a moose. She was eating
by the shore’s edge. It was years ago.
I think of her when I look up
at a cloudless sky. It was a day
like that. A week went by. Time
bends back on itself
like a reed you might use
as a whistle. The wind might
blow it straight again or pull
it out of the water completely.

There was a lake. I was alive;
I was living. No life had passed
through me, so there were things
I didn’t understand. I was never there
in Winter, but it hailed once
in July. The small ice balls collected
near the cabin steps and not knowing
what to do, I ran to grab my camera.
After they melted, it seemed
like a dream. I remember
sleeping by rivers I have long
forgotten the names of. I heard
voices more than once
as I walked among pine trees.
In nature nothing is done in malice,
except for a handful of things.