You have to believe these things go on without us, the wake of my kayak, an osprey circling the willow cove for bluegill or perch, and words
that sink their points into your shoulders. You know how beautiful spring begins— buds swelling into flowers all over the fields and a scent like youth collapsing
from the ripe trees along the lake edge. Shoreline lilies at their brightest begin to become the background as white petals drift away,
ghosts passing out of our lives. You have to believe in ghosts, the shuffling they make in leaves, the trees they fill with fireflies just to make the night sparkle. Because the only thing between lake and sky is trust, the kayak gliding across water like a life suspended waiting for weight to lift or sink
but either way keep cutting forward across the lake, an osprey always circling overhead, the gestures of flowers opening and closing on the morning’s breath and on the beach there’s someone waiting— ghosts you choose to follow or who will follow you.
Grant Clauser's newest book of poetry is Necessary Myths (Broadkill River Press.) He makes his living (in Hatfield, Pa.) as a home technology writer, but spends as much time as possible in woods and streams away from electron- ic things. He earned an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University and in 2010 was selected as the Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate. Reprinted with permission, this poem first appeared in Cheat River Review.