Dallas Wiebe, p.4


If you go shimmering across a lake,
   don’t hook your barbs
Into the comical gills
   of the depths.
Don’t dog-paddle around
   the sleeping logs soaked
By freshets of undulating springs.
Don’t cross the hydrostatic fissures
   of anonymity as you plunge
From surface to surface.
The ducks of autumn.
The butterflies of fall.
The stags of winter,
All shuffle along
   while you tread water
And cry out for the watery wings
   of oarlocks behind the ears.
Swimming suits you fine,
   I’d say, if I were you,
Which I’m not,
   or dry as a bean in heat,
Wet as a cucumber in flood,
   or hot as a pepper
   in corn extenuations.
Diving is for the silent coppers
   whose heads periscope on the boughs
   of soiled waves,
Just as you, like no one else,
   can scoot along on your loony facilities.
Floating? Ah yes, I’d say.
That’s for me, a first water clerk,
   as I tender your mirrored face
   over the bounding ripples.
Don’t bother to dry off.
If you can’t wet your lips
   on the sandy fancies of derivatives,
Don’t, don’t, I say,
   flutter your arid airs over the strand
Where the parameters of drench
   wade in upon you.
Don’t you dare
   turn that water wheel
   that clatters under your sodden curls.
Splash, splash.
I’m here if you need me.
Just turn over that floating stone.