Lake Maiden

 

Water ripples along mud shoulders
where ice binds two small islands into glistening
nipples. Her marshy bottom fills with cast-off shells
shaped in an unseen mosaic. Rain melodies
dance in divots—winter’s frenzy
whips dirty lace along her saw-grass hem
where toads sink deep in her fertile belly
for a long sleep. The mystery is always
whether this is the last season or whether,
when winter passes, she will press her toes
against the far shore, arch her back,
deliver tadpoles, ducklings, Spring.

 

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