My heart, my mother’s lake. Long and slim. Fresh and dark. Bass and sunnies and tadpoles becoming frogs. She gardened here, but I dug in clay and looked for salamanders and toads. Piles of last year’s tomato plants now plowed under with muck from the lake. Good fertilizer she’d say. Full of leeches and fish poop I’d call back, tossing grasshoppers into the water that snap when the fish catch them. Honeysuckle dangled from my mouth that grows thick as thieves in the field. She chased the Canadian geese while I crawfished the stream feeders, my hand still, my breath held. Her death was like that, too. Me standing ankle deep in her sickness trying to catch her spirit as it leaped into the Great Lake. Now there is only the sunset shimmer on the water rippling in the summer breeze. Geese are gone and grass grows tall. The garden is dead but the fish still leap for water bugs that want for dragonfly wings. Iridescent blues that snap my attention from grave dirt. No lake clay here and I miss it’s pliability and the way that it shaped to my touch. Growing warmer the longer I held it. That is love. Warm the longer you hold it, which is why death beds are so cold. So I let the sun warm me before I dive deep into the murky water, letting the cold spot rack my bones.
Work in progress from the Front Range Writer’s Group: hosted. By Marj Hahne