The man doesn’t know why he’s come to the lake.
Six days straight he’s woken from hard dreams—
“Melodramatic,” he says to himself, “nothing
Anyone wants to read about, thus his drive
To the ice to pick his way through the trees.
He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s come for me,
The white whooping crane he spots looking back
Over a shoulder as I rise from the margin
Of the lake with one, two flaps of my wings.
He stops, transfixed midstep, my movement
Through sunlight transforming my wings
Into blades of blinding light, my swim
Through the sky turning into a disappearing
As I blend, like time, into the sycamores.
This is when he sees them: the deer tracks
Cast in the ice-hard mud, the day moon
Inhabiting the clouds. This is when he hears
Them: the chit-chit of chickadees, the squawking
Gang of jays. Now the man can smell
Fresh earth on the wind, now the man
Can smell the coming snow—the world
He inhabits made so loud by my rise, it shines.
ANDREW MCFADYEN-KETCHUM is an award-winning author, editor, ghostwriter, & producer. He is author of two poetry collections, Visiting Hours and Ghost Gear; Acquisitions Editor for Upper Rubber Boot Books; Founder and Editor of PoemoftheWeek.com and The Floodgate Poetry Series; and professor of creative writing at Colorado Community College.
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