Tom Thompson

Shh, Now

The lake is tired of always playing the mother.
It gathers at the silt layer in tiny balls of algae.
It wants no more of your grief and the sheets
Of information you press on it. Really now,
Who swirled you into such impossible patterns
That a lake would surrender its claim to you?
The lake refuses you just as the birds refuse
The lake. White birds
With brittle feathers. Their beaks stuck shut.
It snarls around on itself, this lake
To slather itself—you understand me?
It has no use for us, closing its one
Historic eye before we ever get to use it.



“Shh, Now” is from The Pitch (Alice James Books, 2006).