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Inukshuk

by Elizabeth Shaw

Thursday morning before the July long weekend
everything is still.....the sun
already peeped from its bed
has decided sleep is worth it
slumbering warm in the billows and the down
speaks to me in the spirits off the lake
rising from it
and pouring into it
a mellowfluous granite reprieve
I curl up like a treble of caped earth.....child
waiting for the notes to arrive.

I see her gliding towards me
skirting the shoreline
a fleet of ducklings
tethered to her waist
were an underwater magnet
silence guiding them in unison
careful not to ruffle her dress

I dare not flinch
in their marvel as mallard
waddles upland not
two hands beside me
all nine of her newcomers elongating her neck
like a snake intent on sizing up Inukshuk.

Content stone woman
is no longer a threat
flaps just as sequentially
settle down in a muff
cock giving me the sideways eye.

Miracle of miracles
were truth as tame
as fleeting wee ones
the moment of joy
spreads across me and into me upon reflection
she's as hungry this moment as I am
captive as a decoy in a shakedown
harbouring lost loves for a song.

The sun lurks like a snapper in a glassy knoll
growing fatter as the evening draws out
rock face will never be more rattled
than a mottled glass Mother
ever circling the pitter patter
for orange feet come and gone

a circularity like rain
that harkens with its heartdrum
telling us who was here.

08/14/2014

Author's Note: Sorry bout the dots - made the line breaks easier for formatting.
Inukshuk is a man-made figure of stones having to do with directions.
"An inuksuk by the sea with no arms but both legs means there is a channel that allows for one-way passage.
An inukshuk with no arms and legs is a guide for a hunter in unknown territory.
When I see them in the Muskoka region of Ontario memories of lost loved ones well up and stay; it always feels like home.

Posted on 08/14/2014
Copyright © 2023 Elizabeth Shaw

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/16/14 at 02:39 PM

Excellent story telling and imagery Beth. The dots didn't bother me, I find they add well placed pauses to the flow.

Posted by Rob Littler on 09/10/14 at 07:52 PM

I did my duty, reading this and thinking...thinking such wonderful things...then was laid down to the truth at the end of this: a circularity like rain/ that harkens with its heartdrum/ telling us who was here.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 09/21/14 at 12:18 PM

a fleet of ducklings tethered to her waist blows me to smithereens. when such sumptuous images gather themselves for you weaving, Jane, this lad is exceedingly glad and beaming like sun lurking like a snapper in a glassy ( Dallassian? ) knoll.

Posted by Rob Littler on 10/17/14 at 03:30 PM

the moment of joy/ spreads across me and into me upon reflection/ she's as hungry this moment as I am/ captive as a decoy in a shakedown/ harbouring lost loves for a song./ what happens when not even that makes me smile? Am I doomed? Eternally smiling, really.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 02/09/15 at 02:54 PM

congratulations, Beautiful on POTD. much deserved I might add, as are all your odes to be poems of the Day, Week, Month, Year, Eternity.

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