lake michigan

by Callan L., 18

And something comes from the breeze,
carrying with it the grains of sand,
no salt here,
the wind says

but the water is so blue,
blue — as if the sky itself
came down to dip its toes
in the water
for a little afternoon swim.

Sometimes I can’t tell where
the water ends and the sky begins —
it’s all the same. Can’t you see the ships?
— ghosts of schooners
steering along the banks of clouds
ever-changing, gray then white then gray again,
as if one morning has become three different days

always a threat of a storm.

I reach into the clear water;
winter remains, even in the light of pale sand.
The dunes threaten to take me
down to the mouth of the lake,
to show me how the water never ends.
A soft mother, pelt of sleeping
moss, hibernating lilies.

I want to visit the bears
and whisper my love to them.

Two sandhill cranes cross the street.
I watch their red-crested foreheads
as they sing to me.

Clusters of birch trees,
peeling bark. Sand is already
in my shoes.
I don’t complain.

The rocks on the beach
have been worn smooth by years
under the current. I rub my finger
over the surface
of a gray pebble. Maybe it was once
a boulder. Maybe it is visiting from Chicago.

I toss the rock back onto the beach.
Maybe it will make it back there someday.

Kent, Ohio