Down at the boat launch, on the river that feeds
into Lake Pend Oreille,
the slanted concrete slab still warmed us where
we sat, and the mountains faded into the sky
as the train went by
to Coeur D’Alene.
I stared into the clear and moving water
at the rocks
until I saw how full the water was of fish—so full—
such was the light—after a while I saw only
the fish after the rumble
On that evening when we’d spent the day
You said to me, I’m figuring out marriage
and you and figuring out me, and the river
in its wisdom
said nothing wise.
And the water glinted with the last light of the bugs
the surface, and it sounded with the fish that ate them.
And the mountains kept fading into the sky.
Then you said,
I love . . .
and didn’t finish. So we left the launch
away, and the river echoed that I love. And
afterwards, a moose began to wade across
—Micah Towery (St. Joseph County)
This poem is from Whale of Desire (Cat in the Sun Press, 2015).
Micah Towery, author of the poetry book, Whale of Desire, lives in South Bend and is working on a novel. He teaches at Goshen College and the University of Notre Dame.
Poetry Prompt: Listening for an Echo
Recreate an important moment of intimacy—perhaps a first kiss, the sharing of a secret or special activity, or maybe the break-up of a relationship. How does the setting echo what’s going on between the people? Or do you perceive a contradiction or warning?
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem and prompt every day in April. Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner selected these poems and wrote the prompts.