to the still, small Voice
urging me to,
"Go to the water."
"Must I?" I ask.
"Yes, you must," it answers.
"Yes now please, and hurry."
I fumble quickly into clothes
stumble fuzzily down the path
rubbing from my eyes
the remnants of bright and vivid
what all the fuss is about,
I climb carefully into the shadowy canoe,
put oar to dark water, the plish of it
the only sound moving me slowly
away from shore,
just a woman in a canoe
on a quiet lake in the early morning,
just obeying the Voice even though
I haven't had my morning coffee yet.
From behind me, from the north,
comes the sound of a bird - I think
it is a plain old duck even though only loons
live here - and as it flies high above me
I hear the bellows of its lungs as if at a forge,
their wheezy sound like a squeeze toy,
fanning hard the flames of its wings
and when it turns and comes back
its flight path is directly over my canoe and
with a sudden and endless wave of sound it is
calling and calling and calling, hooting its
forlorn cry without pause
in its other-worldly voice
and I am riveted in my seat,
enveloped in a dome of sound, wrapped
in a music that stuns me
into stillness and silence,
into tears and goosebumps,
a music that
washes over me
like a blessing.