Winter 1979 • Vol. I No. 1 Poetry |

Loon Lake

If you listen the small splash is beaver. As beaver swim their fur lays back and their heads elongate and a true imperial cruelty shines from their eyes. They're rodents after all Beaver otter weasel mink and rat rodent species of the Adirondacks and they redistrict the world. They go after the young trees and bring them down—whole hillsides collapse in the lake when they're through. They make their lodges of skinned poles, mud and boughs like igloos of dark wet wood and they enter and exit under water and build shelves out of the water for the babies. And when the mahogany speedboat goes by trimmed with silver horns in Loon Lake, in the Adirondacks the waves of the lake inside the beaver lodge lap gently against the children's feet in the darkness. Loon Lake was once the destination of private railroad cars rocking on a single track through forests of pine and spruce and hemlock branches and fronds brushing the windows of cut glass while inside incandescent bulbs flickered in

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E.L. Doctorow (1931-2015) was the author of several novels, including City of God, Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, and The March. Among the honors he received are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

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