When we go below,
we almost expect to see the stars,
mirrored by the surface so vividly at night,
fixed in their places along the bottom.
The big fish—the elegant pike,
avuncular channel cat,
the lordly muskellunge—they graze
the hillsides around and below us like cattle.
The little fish—shiners in a school,
tessellated darters scattering
like grace notes on a score so the silence
appears to have secret music,
appears even to have birds.
Are there seasons here?
Or only overhead, as in dreams?
Like storm clouds, the hulls of boats.
An occasional swimmer in flight.
Are dusk and dawn the same?
There are no pedestrians,
no panhandlers, no streetlights.
No distant porchlight but the moon.
Small boats, moored along the bottom,
appear homesick to those of us
who love our homes. We listen
for fishcalls, as if a pumpkinseed
were a flugelhorn. But these corridors
of mud are silent as catacombs.
from Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain by Daniel Lusk