Crystal S. Gibbins

Lake of the Woods

Sometimes I visit the blue shores
where my father taught me how to fish.
I can hear the humming dark motor of his boat
gliding across the glassy water surface.
I imagine his ingenious grace
casting toward spirit-buoyant cattails,
steam rising from his thermos cup
as he stands in solitude at the edge of the cool wet stern
mirrored in the motion of waves.
On the islands around him, pines grow slow with secrets.
Standing like a stranger on the shore,
I look out across mute waters,
only to be spoken to by the choir
of loons in the distance.

Blurred in Breath

I want to wake you,
wipe the sweet bubble of drool
from your cracked lip,
so you can see daffodils
in the merlot bottle—
their gold about to tumble.

But you turn your face
away from the blonde light
of the open window,
pull the sheet like taffy
up over your arms,
and sing a word that
could have been my name,
but it was breath, air, nothing.