Using the tension of the surface,
voices glide across the bay.
I recognize marshmallows, matches, wood.
Perhaps the current from Trapper Creek
emptying glacial melt
helps propel each word along.
Soon, a breeze ripples the surface
catching slivers of moon
like a school of salmon.
Gradually, the wind
becomes strong enough
to sweep every syllable away.
Then the lake struggles to speak.
Its many tongues lap volcanic sand
with a soft steady rhythm.
their chorus under the cosmos,
while high in a fir an owl questions the night.
Heading south, a long freight rumbles
past the summit and slowly fades—
a thought ebbing away.
I can still hear Grandfather say,
“By late summer, troll slow
and keep your lines deep.”