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A SPELL FOR TRAVERSING QUAKE LAKE.

near West Yellowstone, Montana, site of the 1959 7.3 magnitude
 earthquake
   Valley of the drowned
   I row my boat into, where
   the skeletons of pines
   skulk out from green
   still water dammed
   by what the mountain
   calved atop the river.
   I say the words which
   science & not the
   frightened heart offers
   for explanation: scarp
   & seiche, Richter,
   epicenter, aftershock,
   breach, fault. Little
   spells of fact that might
   dispel my sense there
   on the water of the hands--
   in icy, earnest grasping
   carved from waterlogged
   branches. I whisper,
   Living goes on here:
 the
   bighorns that brave
   the slopes to browse in spring along
   the road, cormorants
   in the deadwood, brown
   & cutthroat trout rising
   from that submerged
   forest to ripple the
   surface with their jaws
   and snare the flies with
   enchanted names like
   drake, callibaetis, damsel,
   mayfly, caddis, each a
   tiny heartbeat hex, a charm
   with limpid wings the jaws
   drag with them below.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:poetry
Author:Williamson, Corrie
Publication:Boulevard
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:1U8MT
Date:Sep 22, 2019
Words:187
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