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Kayaker on mountain lake

One Poem by Sunni Brown Wilkinson

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Teapot Lake on the Head of a Pin

Today is ancient. The same north wind
that blew over our ancestors
blows over me, all of us foraging

in the thick bottoms of summer
or fishing for brookies
by a lake late afternoon.

The mountains have barely
changed their faces
in a thousand years. Osprey nests

ring the lake from the tops
of pine trees the way they did
the day Caesar died.

And my sons in camp chairs
are nearly prostrate
over books

like some lost painting
by Renoir. Today
is a still life. Slowly I eat a peach

in the lavish silence. There are bears
backstage of all this. Their shadows
touch the edges of our minds. Their breath

is the breath of the gods.
And we’re common, almost nameless,
dazed

by a day of sunshine and wind.
My husband, fishing from the kayak,
is an island of grace, a drifting red

dance between water and air,
one bright comma in a long sentence
of lake.

Ask me who I’ll be
tomorrow. Ask me if I love the world.
Then watch the oar

endlessly break
through a darkness it cannot change.

  

   

   

Sunni Brown WilkinsonSunni Brown Wilkinson is the author of the poetry collection The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press) and The Ache & The Wing (winner of the Sundress Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has been awarded New Ohio Review’s NORward Poetry Prize, the Joy Harjo Prize, and the Sherwin Howard Award.

Read Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s poem “For the Skunk Who Lives in the Woodpile I Pass on My Morning Walk” in Terrain.org.

Header photo by Nature Nomad, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of Sunni Brown Wilkinson by Lyndee Carlston.

Terrain.org is the first online literary journal of place, publishing award-winning literature, art, editorials, and community case studies since 1998.