An Incantation to be Spoken Lakeside

After Thompson's "Troubled Water II"

the way it defies gravity, always invisibly rising 
the way its white breath floats high above
the way it holds the sky up to itself
reflecting the light, reflecting the blue
and the way it doubles the birds passing through 
the way it trembles at the wind's caress 
the way it always responds
the way it circles our oars, our limbs 
the embrace of the unconditional 
the way it allows the bodies of fish, the bodies of frogs
the tiny blue-green algae bodies
the way it offers itself to the thirsty
and takes whatever comes  
the way it reflects our faces 
reflects the things we love
the love we have for perfect lawns
the perfect green of perfect lawns 
the phosphorus we pour and pour
the way it opens to whatever comes
to what comes pouring off our streets
the way it swallows whatever comes
and the swirl of green grows and grows
a floating raft of poison
the way it does not protest even while it's choking
the way it does not discriminate or warn 
the way it still offers itself to the mouths
of the animals who come in darkness
not knowing how toxic the green
the deadly perfect lawn green 
the way it will hold the bodies of dogs 
and the bodies of cows when they weaken
and when they begin to twitch and when they begin to stiffen
and the way it will carry them after

Heather Swan