"Replenish" by Claudia Schmidt
We go on, we go on,
Canoe under hot sun,
The upturned paddle guides liquid to our dry mouths.
Water within us, water surround us,
A great mystery our becoming dry at all.
Replenish, replenish, all must be replenished.
The water within and without.
All that fills us, all that surrounds us:
The great whistling pines,
The tenacious beaver,
The ancient loon,
The rush of the young eagle's wings as it dips low over our canoe.
The eyes bathed in this delicate solitude,
This trembling eternity,
Called back in mid-sweep only to be assessed by green parched eyes.
Each shriveled heart
Which has its moments only at events set aside for its song,
But cannot fly for the connection
Between the rock and the human body,
The heron's wing and the hope in our souls.
We go on,
We go on,
The paddles dance with the lake water to the music in our throats.
We will grow dry again
Perhaps leap into the water
A small and symbolic celebration of a great and endless task
Which gracefully undertaken,
Might allow us to go on, and on, and on.