Winter 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 1 Poetry |

The Canoe Ride

We are trying to find the waterfall --all afternoon, along the edges of the lake, the high-pitched calls of loons. (Imprecise directions.) We pass through the canal--shallow, silent. You explore the gnarled forms of trees, submerged, and when we almost hit a rock-- you say, trust me. I sit on the bottom of the canoe, you bring the paddle in and balance, each hand holding to a side, your body over mine, you kiss me. The clouds move fast through the sky. A gunshot echoes. You tie us up and on a grassy knoll strewn with leaves, we make love until the wind blows too cold. It's getting late, we must go home, but I want to see the waterfall. Do you hear it as we paddle, slowly, through the lilies? Suddenly, a heron, the palest blue--looking prehistoric--begins its awkward flight. I see your eyes when you see it--whitecapped water--now I can see it, too--the narrow pathway down through the rocks. We drift. The water's pulse takes us where it

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