Home and Her Identities

Winding west and climbing north – three times a heron lifts or settles where I can see it. How lost one might be without the thoughtlessness of birds. The new lake is frozen with the reflection of deep pines and aging oak, broken only by v-shaped wakes of ducks and amorous bullfrogs stationed in the southwest bend of the lake.

Otherwise, stillness.

Our embrace reveals how things have changed or stayed the same. This and other affectionate roots in Kenya. They ask about our president and we respond with our bodies – slumping, turned away, and shaken.

The second day drizzled its course – late breakfast, quiet coffees, tired teenagers making conversation here and there. Three window sliders frame the sloping view of the painted landscape falling down towards the lake. Everyone says the water is the star of the show. A green metal bird feeder, house-shaped with a copper roof, sits on a tall pole so that it is eye-level with the dining room table. Eating meals with birds! For a time, an erasure of home.

At the seepy water's edge I watched a blue-gray grace land on a fallen tree jutting out into the slow stillness of cottonwood reflection. The heron again. Kora would like it here.

Home and her identities. Have you ever noticed how birch trees sway like ghosts high on the hill? The visitation of black bears and muskrats and bald eagles all hint towards a bonding with the untamed. Unnamed? In the country of austere stillness the lake is lavish.

There isn't much more to this wandering than that.

She told me she has always wanted to see a cardinal and so the slight homesickness festers. Books on Michigan poetry are clear windows and it makes me wonder how anyone would know the pedigree of my embraces.

Near the feeder, woodpeckers visit the suet cage: pileated, red-headed, hairy, and the flicker. Past sundown they roll and drum a welcome bridge into sleep.

dawn's benevolence
             of new freckles
                          and the worship of light

over flagstones
          and ashes cooled by dew
                            the faded conversation