the indian is sitting in a tree near the edge of a spillway. he whistles, he calls. he wants me to climb peeling bark, to fold legs and arms, to balance on bare feet. I lock the car door. I take off my shoes. it is cold, high on this branch. his brown skin is feathered; he wraps me in a wing. he points at the deep-water lake with a cigarette. this is where we come from, he says. we swim until we can walk. we walk until we can fly. there is time for everything. he shifts, and his yellow beak is wet in the setting sun.

he has nothing more to say.


(revised version) issue 52 — right hand pointing


3 thoughts on “lake

    1. angie says:

      I wrote these last summer when I was suddenly all alone in my house. my now ex-husband left after 25 years and both my girls went to college. I had almost stopped writing completely. I don’t really know where the indian came from –I think in some ways he is mostly my grandmother– but, there he was every day for awhile and I started writing again.

      I have toyed with the idea of taking these little poems and changing them to “grandmother” just to see what happens.

      anyway — this was supposed to be the last one, and it was for a bit. he reappeared, occasionally. I did a “dead man”
      poem in december and he snuck himself into it —

      he will probably show up again since I still haven’t figured him out.


      1. I think it’s good to have an obsession, and to write and write until it is exorcised. I am doing just that at the moment (with something completely different).

        Keep the Indian. He is part of your subconscious, but alien enough to inject mystery into the whole canon.

        I’m loving it.



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