Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

LAKE WOMAN
m a r y   e l i z a b e t h   p a r k e r

A streak of her gleaming pink leg
shimmers behind the clouds
at sunset. She is languid, examining mother-of-pearl toes.
The big woman sits with a lake in her lap
and waits for the gulls blown in from the ocean
to land like white flowers in a basket.
Trees ring the lake like a necklace of porcupine quills.
Spaces between the trees might allow
the wrong man to step close to the clearing.
The trees hold every kind of life
erupting like borer larvae ticking from the bark.
The woman sits with a lake in her lap
and pulls children from its depths,
lean and slippery salmon boys,
laughs as the water sheets from them.

Previously published in Earth and Soul: An Anthology of North Carolina Poetry in 2001.

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