KR OnlinePoetry

Man-Made

From here, it’s two hundred miles to any lake
that isn’t a hole somebody dug.

Scraped shallows that we flood, their silting-
up inevitable and ignored

as the cicadas’ mechanical burr from the woods.
My lip still cut from her teeth.

In a sea we pay no attention to
someone is drowning.

I say someone since the truth—
dozens, hundreds a day—

takes so much longer. At the baseball game,
they take a moment

for the player who’d drowned in the quarry
two days before. All their

small black flags cinched at half-staff. Coaches
hugging for a walk-off double

and the silence always something
we take. They lost

by double digits on national TV. I meant this
as a love poem for the boy

who reached the other, his friend, and had
to turn back. Who waited

on shore, salt-faced, staring. And knew someone
would come that way for him.

Author photo
Matthew Moser Miller is a born-and-raised Ohioan who holds an MFA from University of Michigan; his work has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he now lectures at University of Michigan and raises apples on his family's Ohio farm.