The lake checks its lapping on the shore
to lull late night and then to watch.
The breeze stills its breath in willows
to catch his soft footfall on the beach
as he and his shadow turn, a figure
glowing on its own, where sky and lake
join in the weak light across a beach
parched as bone. The ghosts of
sturgeon lift from the chilled depths
to expand the silent throng: slithering
lamprey, curled alewives, turned shad;
all beneath the surface of these waters.
Gulls halt in the sky, then turn frantic
in convoluted flight--as the night
finds words (All the living left to come,
all the dead long past) under a driven moon
by Point Gratiot's reaching cliffs.