Sault Ste. Marie
Too often you see yourself and wonder
which bodies ancestors navigated
to gather such glorious scars and wrinkles
in one place, both noticeable and unseen,
little waves in a great lake of flesh.
The mirror is not unkind, you think,
with proper lighting — in candlelight
or late evening’s peppery glow,
after a few drinks. Then you recall
crossing the equator three decades
past, how the deck’s non-skid surface
scratched your knees as you scrubbed
the twists and currents that’d buffeted
you to that imagined line on the globe,
and later, the following points and clock
faces withering down the long queue
of jobs, the spilled beer and incomplete life
sentences. Even now, Superior washes
through its locks, filling, denying, allowing
one’s depths into another’s space with equal
regard, promoting passage, flooding past with
future, present with then, balancing tomorrow, now.
“Sault Ste. Marie” won LCk Publishing’s Spring Poetry Contest in April 2017.