Michael T. Young
I used to read while nestled in a crook
of maple branches, or seated on a slab of concrete
that jutted into lake water,
striders coasting the rumpled sheets.
Reeds on the far shore needled the shallows
writing a subtext into palms of sunlight
alluding to trout and bass tunneling the deep,
to the early alphabets of mud and rock.
Mallards skirred the surface by day,
bats skimmed it by night, their wings
scratching brief calligraphies into the water.
There was always something to read,
a word or glyph to decipher: Canada geese
pausing in their long migrations,
or a dead fish with pierced armor
leaking his guts to the summer sun,
to flies unzipping the air
in busy gratitude, to those days
when my idea of heaven was so big
it contained even this.