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AT THE LAKE / Carl Dennis Even if the rain holds off awhUe And our walk to the lake goes as we planned it, It won't be one of the famous golden adventures Sufficient to pay us, when added up, A fair price for our Uves. Just another of the copper coins Doled out to us so far Even if the geese are out on the water parading And nobody's throwing stones And the fishermen, having caught enough, Are wUling to chat. Maybe we'll enjoy it more If we teU ourselves we've been rewarded already With as many good days as we deserve, That the rest are extra. Having savored the gifts of the work week We're ready on this day of rest To see what the gods of rest are up to, The geese and the wind and the fishermen. Now we can try to imagine the people here Before the settlers came to change the landscape, What they felt when they woke to a vista of hiUs Unmarked by towns, barns, and orchards, When they found no traces of last year's camp On their return in spring to the clearings, In autumn to the clam banks, in winter to the woods. We can think of the elders Seated at their camp fire as a storm blew in. Time for them to teU the story again How once their ancestors Uved under the lake And grubbed in the dark for roots Until a hero happened to find the opening And led them up through the rock roof To hunt here, in the sweet Ught of the sun. The Missouri Review ยท 73 ...


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