Poem: Holy Lake

This poem was written in May on our trip to Wisconsin.

The lake was called Spirit Lake
or Holy Lake before colonists
imposed their superstitions upon it,
plowing under the mounded
effigies of birds and beasts,
culture and understanding.
We ascend a stony trail,
Ice Age purple boulders of incredible size
tumbled all around us,
feet careful on square stones
stair-stepping up a forbidding hillside
to the place we have sought:
the balancing rock,
teetering on one narrow end
on another outcropping of deep red stone.
We pause before it,
the sounds of other pilgrims drifting to us
on the wind,
looking out between pine and stone
to the still, flat lake and all that it has held,
so much lost,
so much found and re-found.
There are light raindrops on our faces
and the sky is streaked with clouds.
I sit on the edge of a stone ledge,
my feet extending into open space,
feeling small and humbled.
I write often of leaning into the expansive,
of opening to possibility.
Usually I mean this metaphorically.
On this day,
I feel it literally,
sitting right now
at one small point of a great ribbon of time,
the scale and scope
of which contains
so much of the impossible
somehow given form.

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