Christianne Balk

Here you will find the Poem Departure of poet Christianne Balk


Thousands of tiny 
fists tamping the surface of the lake 
flowing like a wide 
river gone crazy, southeast, westnorth 
letting the wind push 
it around in its bed and the boat 
hull hugging the shore. 
What else can she do? Even the trees 
agree, shaking 
their crowns, throwing down their leaves as if 
she were their only 
child. Caught cold-footed in Magnuson 
grass, trying to cut 
free of the creosote-soaked pilings sunk 
deep in the shallow 
mud holding the water, holding her 
wake for a moment, 
furrow folding back over into 
confusion. Cascade 
gray crosscurrents! Sharp switching eddies! 
shoals! Let the cloth argue with itself, 
gasping like a child 
with the air knocked out and the wind 
socking the center. 
Let the sail, shot-silk green and white, now 
snapping, billowing 
slowly draw her away from this beach 
marked with broken glass, rocks 
as smooth as plovers? eggs, and small 
stones splashed iron red 
and orange like the sky breaking open. 
Let the windows ignite 
flickering copper on the other side. 
Let the water be 
disked with silver from here to there 
churning as if roiled 
by the flanks of a great, gentle fish.