Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Lake Muse: The Idaho in Me

I used to write poetry. Some of it was marginally good. Some dear souls have told me it was better than marginally good, but I have my doubts. I haven't written much poetry the past few years. I've written some to the boys on their birthdays that I will share with them one day, and I used to write a poem each year on my birthday, but that's about it. I miss it. (I did write and share this poem about not writing poetry a couple years ago.)

Today we returned from our Independence Day week at Smith Mountain Lake. There's just something about a lake that brings out whatever is left of the poet in me. One morning I woke before my loud, vacationing monsters and had my coffee in solitary silence as the lake woke up. I was thinking about Idaho, because most of my childhood Fourths of July were spent on Coeur d'Alene Lake at my grandparents' house. The smells and sounds and sights of the two most influential-to-me Idaho places came back to me there on the front porch overlooking the lake. And I managed to not only write them down, but to revise them, and keep the folded-up piece of paper safely stowed in my suitcase until we got home.

The Idaho in Me

When I’m dead and
I want someone who loved me
to read this and


the thick chill of spring mornings
on West Hatter Creek
as the day crept
silently across the gravel,
the packed dirt.

As sunshine summoned mist,
that army of tiny, connected apparitions,
up and up
from their night on the rocks,
on the patchy grass,
the weeds.

From the stately purple Irises
guarding the
wet black

I want someone I love to


the similar but different
hum of summer mornings
on Bloomsburg Bay
as sun polished the
glass of the
uninterrupted lake.

As beach waves
at the pebbly sand.

As motor boats drew
small, disheveled sleepers like me
back to yesterday’s games
of tag and make-believe
under secrets of the
cherry tree leaves.

These are my quiet
mornings of the
in me

and I want

to know them too.

My boating boys this weekend


  1. I loved that you translated your childhood memories into such beauty. I always wonder how our children's will come out: poem, dance, book, loud rock song. ;) 🍀🍀🍀

    1. True-- I wonder that too. I feel that with three boys, the odds of mine all being loud rock songs are pretty high. :)

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