Elegy at Lake Murray

by Susan Laughter Meyers


And what of the pines
branching over the lake? Am I to take them
as a sign,
these few drops of rain as mercy?
Let them cool my wrist
and palm, the crease at my elbow,
as if to say,
There, and there, this gloss—
here, this wet wink misting your face.

The darkest clouds are blowing over,
shaped by wind
that whips across water.
In its path the surface breaks
into ripples—
no, wrinkles. I feel the chill.
For the living, the chickadee’s
boisterous doxologies
and old beads of turtles
strung in a row, sunning on their log
and keeping track: a long, slow
count of tomorrow’s
lack and all the past seasons.
May the yellow warbler
keep flitting about.
May the dog, the crow, persistent and loud,
settle their complaints
against nothing but air.

Between two clouds, a crack of sunlight.
Shadows of waves
are small, ephemeral, lively
as children who’ve never known death.
Cupped and quick, the shallow waves.
Some rolling toward—
and others, whose backs
are bright swells, quietly rolling away.
—for L.A.F.



*This piece may not be archived, reproduced or distributed further without the author’s express permission.

Susan Laughter Meyers

Susan Laughter Meyers is the author of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (2013), winner of the Cider Press Review Editors Prize. Her collection Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006) was selected by poet Terrance Hayes for the SC Poetry Book Prize. It subsequently won the SIBA Book Award for Poetry and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her poems have also appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and Crazyhorse. She has received fellowships from the SC Academy of Authors and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). She is a past president of the poetry societies of both North and South Carolina.

Contributions by Susan Laughter Meyers