Thursday Poem

There Is a Lake Here

—after Jamal May

.. For New Orleans

There is a lake here.
A lake the size of
outstretched arms. And no,
not the type of arms raised
in surrender. I mean the sort
of arms beckoning to be held.
To wrap themselves around another
and to never let go. And no, the lake
is not a place where people are
drowning. And no, this water is not
that which comes from a storm
or that which turns a city
into a tessellation of broken
windows and spray paint.
There are children swimming here,
splashing one another while
the droplets ricochet between them.
The droplets do not hurt,
they simply roll down the side
of the boy’s cheek. No, the boy is not
using the water to hide his tears.
He is laughing. Eyes cast out across
the water, in awe of how vast it is.

by Clint Smith
Split This Rock, 12/1/2016