by Caroline Misner
Published April 9, 2021
Reeds cower their disappointments below
the scummy marsh waters,
still green but amber-tipped, they lean
like wounded soldiers in a sanitarium.
They know they haven’t much time,
but hang on to the last tendrils
of wan light seeping between
the alders and birch, their leaves
scandalously displayed like hammered tin
on the tips of their limbs.
The bog has swallowed the lake,
mossy green like over steeped tea.
Whatever lives there is dream filled
and sluggish. I feel their pain,
white and sterile as the sun that loosened
the branches with summer’s heat.
The cat is crouching, ready to pounce
beneath the birdfeeder, little
lioness in her collar of fur, taunted
by blue jays and chickadees.
Cool as a diva among her admirers,
proud and almost too slim to see,
a crane steps lightly along the shore
on awkward knees, so regal she believes
she’s a swan, the lake’s prima ballerina.
Ring after ring widens on the surface,
pocked with zig-zagging insects;
I no longer see her in a god-light;
my life ticks along with such regularity
I hardly notice her at all.
Caroline Misner’s work has appeared in numerous publications in the USA, Canada, India and the UK. She has been nominated for the prestigious McClelland & Stewart Journey Anthology Prize for the short story “Strange Fruit”; in 2011 another short story and a poem were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands of Northern Ontario where she continues to draw inspiration for her work. She is the author of the Young Adult fantasy series “The Daughters of Eldox”. Her latest novel, “The Spoon Asylum” was released in May of 2018 by Thistledown Press and was nominated by the publisher for the Governor General Award. You can view more of her work at her website: carolinemisner.com.