Kingfisher’s wing-flash, dragonfly’s needle pierce the morning mist.
Canoe prow slips forward, pulls us after, smooth cedar rib by rib.
Bow plate slices sky-mirrored water, bisects the lake with our track.
As if summoned by my j-stroke, a loon swirls from the depths.
Fish surface from the weedy abyss, blow bubbles at our passage.
We circle Margaret’s Island, namesake in the bow, happy paddling duet.
Half a century of exploring this lake, ten minutes in glacial time.
Small flashing paddles on the surface, with twenty miles reach.
Speck in the eye of the soaring osprey, white bolt across blue, a dive to fish.
Bass, frogs and turtles cluster in the lagoon, island-arm enwrapped.
Sun glows from the water, a great blue heron stretches on the shore.
Statue-still until not; he croaks, throws himself skyward, rusty wings flap.
We paddle our delicate vessel home, return to clock-driven lives.
Susan J. Wurtzburg, a retired academic, lives in Hawai‘i. She writes and runs her editing business (Sandy Dog Books LLC), in between water sports, hiking, and socializing online, while she waits for the pandemic to diminish. Susan’s poetry has appeared in the Hawai‘i Pacific Review, The Literary Nest, Poetry and Covid, Quince Magazine, and the Rat’s Ass Review. She belongs to the Rat’s Ass Review Writing Group.