Birch trees rise from the cliffs,
tenuous in their grip on granite bluff and marginally
layered soil, like teeth in a crooked,
gapped and laughing smile.
Against the green and thickened scruff
of forest they’ve sloughed off last year’s leaves
in favor of a blank canvas,
Reflected in the lake below
or rather its saturated surface,
they sound like the chorus of candle ice
that I expect to hear
in days to come,
as they mock the waterfall dropping tears from the forest floor.
If you look closer,
at the white branches closest to the shore, you’ll see Rapalas
hanging like abandoned Christmas lights
strung with random charity.
Their only chance for catching
reflected cold and shallow
in the surface pool ahead.
©Timothy James Stouffer 04092019
All Rights Reserved Ely, MN
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