At the Edge of the Lake

by Kim Michalak

What is it about the edge of a lake
that feels like a new beginning?

Is it the weeds, lilies, and reeds
sprouted from the edgewater
their faces uplifted toward the sun
necks not yet flattened against
the muddied bellies of turtles
and alligators, resilient

Or is it the proud chirps and squaws
of the herons and other water birds
reminiscent of elementary school
choirs, each on a different note
and rhythm, yet even the angry ones
manage to harmonize somehow

Maybe it’s the smell
of decaying earth, the matter
of all things, a mouthful of sweet
and sour symbolic of the cycle—
a grounding thing to remind us
we are all at the edge of something

Kim Michalak is a Florida-based poet, mother, and optical stylist. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University and is an associate editor at The Fourth River. Her works have appeared in Brushing, Rose Red Review, and Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing. Sabiyha Prince is an anthropologist, artist, and author based in Washington, DC.  Her books and essays explore urban change and African American culture, and her paintings and photo collages grapple with memory, identity, kinship and inequality.

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