by Dawn Cunningham Luebke
Salamonie Reservoir :hundreds of yards
of shimmering leaves bubble
trails in my eye. Dead trees
thumb a ride, left behind
after man flooded the land. I slow down
for the red light. There’s a ripple
in the drowning: a boat moves
like an upside-down swing; fishes. The old
church steeple just peeks
it has been a hot summer and I
wonder if the boat will catch
fish with answers.
Limbs do not wave
in the hot breeze, so stiff,
reaching to breathe. A blue heron flies,
rubbing in her freedom. Here,
water came to Monument City for flood
control. The boat pulls and tugs,
caught on a pane; the boat burdened
by another good jig lost
to an unmanned home. The rippled-reflection
is perfect teeth flossed by fishermen’s
I say Thank You. My brother
fished here nearly a quarter
of a century ago. Today,
are only memories, stopping at the top
of the bridge, flashing emergency
lights. The ripples break the glass
wedged in my eye: each hill and dip
a vision of him casting,
reeling. The water,
sand deep this year.
A child runs, skips a rock, splashes
and waves; his blue short sleeve
shirt and rolled up jeans blend
into Dennis doing jumping jacks.
Frantic arms signal . . . seeing you
(no stanza break)
again in the Salamonie. Forgive me
when I forget. Don’t die
for us all. Be as you are;
you can preserve;
never apologize for your existence.
I bow, drop water,
and leave the rail to start my car.
Dawn Cunningham Luebke currently instructs composition at Indiana U. Purdue U. Fort Wayne (IPFW) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has four beautiful children and five beautiful grandchildren. Her work has appeared in Confluence and Diagram. She hopes to continue her studies in Native American literature and science fiction literature, not excluding her creative writing in all genres.