Some water invites you
to enter it.
Maybe that’s what I was like for you.
Like you were the earth, sloping
gently but persistently,
leaning in closely -
inviting me to wear away your edge.
Sitting on the sand at Shadow Lake,
I know I cannot enter,
unfamiliar as I am to this water
which formed from glaciers
in deep history -
able to compress and shift at will,
forge fine passage
through dolorite and granite
turn moments upon moments
until they form into one entity.
Everything replete -
I can’t sink,
This lake is a winking eye
at the things I left behind;
your touch, that hydrated me
so I stopped looking
The water swells hypnotic
and I feel the pressure of the bank.
Across the lake’s expanse
pandanis hum and sleep
waiting for the earth to tilt
their bodies and the buttongrass
towards the watersmeet.
This pool is one surface
broad and flat,
that from the air would tell
a different story.
Several pools live in me, just
at my finger tips and every concave cell.
This lake always existed.
It was waiting for me then,
that time I turned away
It was the amniotic fluid
and my mother’s innocence -
it was the impression of form,
At that moment, if I don’t succumb and stay
it’s because I can’t persist.
The cry for aching self engulfed
was too hard to resist
in all moments,
While you might call, Shadow Lake
while you might need nothing from me
and the bird’s view sees
that you are a cell
this collection of moments, flanks and tips
meets your ancient depths
I cannot be in you any less than you are in me.
I’d like to say it’s just about you
but it isn’t.
I mean every tear I cried had filled this lake
and I was born here one time or many
and at every other place.
I walked back down the path,
away from Shadow Lake.
I didn’t undress, touch my toe tips,
or conform to it.
I walked back down vastly, broadly
knowing myself hasty at times –
When I finally swam it was at the meeting of two rivers.
I don’t know their honest names
but their waters at my lips
tasted pure -
Not like the slogan on a bottled water,
not like the solidity
of your arms, the broadness of your feet.
Not like memories that would carry me somewhere
far from here,
but a clearness
that was like a death -
a beautiful, straight-forward
like fingertips on fingertips.
Megan Kimber is a writer who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She studied literature and comparative religion at the University of Queensland, where her focus was on close reading and critical analysis of poetry. She completed an honours thesis in Sociology at the University of Tasmania that examined the social discourses relating to land use in the Tasmanian forests. Growing up surrounded by nature, her poetry is informed by and interrogates the relational practices between people, society and the natural world. Her poetry has been published in Meniscus Literary Journal. ‘Shadow Lake’ was written in Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania.