Oregon Lake


Not to tell just what we see

here-no one who heard that would

believe it anyhow-this folded lake like a

picture on a postcard

peacock blue to shaggy

amethyst, too clear for

fishing. The Cascades break in rough

consecutive bronze waves down from a

vacant sky, spiked with fir row upon

row regular and jagged as the

teeth on a new saw. Not to tell what a

picture could tell easily, or to add that ripples reflect to

underwater sand white light in

octagons. But to include the people-

dipping and playing with their

city toys, clustered in the bowl drained by an

ocean, not looking up or out

until the dry wind clatters in at

five o'clock, and they hastily

gather up their traces and turn up toward

bellying green tents. A

lagging child says, "Play my

game. If you step on a rock, you can't

go home; if you step on a stick, you

have to back down." He and his followers

back toward the bright edge of the

beach until their mothers call

in high excited voices trembling through green air,

No, no. Come

home. Come

home. The children turn shine of hair, cheeks

raised by laughter, slap of sole on wet solidity of

sand. We can't. We can't come

home. The sticks, the stones. . . Come get us. Afraid?