- Origin Story
Lake Michigan dreamed me, I think,in the winter of 1969, its long currentscombing shipwrecks and where
was my mama, then? (She was wearinga red muumuu.) And where was my father,then? (He was fishing for steelhead.)
No one dreamed you, stupid girl, the seagullsaid—you came straight from the bellyof your granddad's school mascot.
You wore plaid skirts and bruised your kneesand lived across the street from the motorcycle shop.I remember dropping dimes in the jukebox;
I remember embers in the sand. Once I saw Godhimself—a small boy running across the RV parkwith a toy sword in his hand. I dreamed
we all lay down on the beach and the dunesmoved over our bodies. It tookten thousand years of whispering,
but we finally slept. And before that?the seagull asked. Before that I found comfortin the fur of animals and the movement
of a boat on the water. I was warmin my mother's arms. Before that I wasa sonic boom over Wisconsin, and before that, fire. [End Page 31]
Karin Gottshall's most recent book is The River Won't Hold You (Ohio State University Press, 2014). Recent poems appear in Colorado Review and FIELD. She lives in Vermont and teaches at Middlebury College.