Lake Sagatagan Summer

By Denton Loving

After evensong at the abbey, we walk circles
in the woods, weaving through deerflies

in kamikaze flights. The cerulean warbler
mates among these trees, we’re told,

so we keep vigil for blue flickers in leaves.
So far, nothing. On half-submerged logs,

turtles perch like hard-shelled gods—
We canoe to the deepest part of the lake

before we can talk about who we were
before the other existed as witness.

Night descends, and we have to compete
with the liturgy of loons,

but here, surrounded by water, by darkness,
is the only safe place to tell the truth.

Denton Loving is the author of the poetry collection Crimes Against Birds (Main Street Rag) and editor of Seeking Its Own Level, an anthology of writings about water (MotesBooks).  His writing has recently appeared in Iron Horse Literary ReviewKenyon Review, The Chattahoochee Review and The Threepenny Review. Follow him on twitter @DentonLoving.