In the made and raw
… since the lake was so murky … when the hotel was to be shutdown,
all the non-reclaimable furnishings … were taken out on the lake …
where they sank … as the ice melted.
—Bruce Rickets, “The Brass Bathtubs of Emerald Lake”
Dig deep-down earth and nothing
approximates the greenish blue streaming
through the staid tree lines of Yoho’s peaks.
Glacial grind stirs rock flour in,
raising colors, dimming heights
of orchids, daisies, columbine.
Rent a red canoe and glide across
lake-bedded rooms where thaws arrange
abandoned furnishings. Newlyweds cuddle
on loveseats submerged beside
the flayed settees where lawyers puff cigars
in wait for mistresses to strip
silky sheets beneath the glacial green.
Stoke up a night when fires blaze
against the snow and bourbon from Ontario
entangles rail tycoons with dealers
in the made and raw. And down the hall,
beyond the smoke and braggadocio,
a banker’s wife slips wrinkled limbs
into a tub, displacing rainbow trout
with prairie dust scrubbed out of pinless hair.
Before you paddle on, evening stars recline
above moraines and cedar, fir, and spruce.
Travelers yawn, then melt into a dream
of tables, chairs, and brass bathtubs cracking
through the softening. Waking in dismay,
they can’t quite relocate the library
or sitting room or hints of steam
that rise above the bluish green.
Carolyn Martin is happily retired in Clackamas, OR where she gardens,
writes, and participates in communities of creative colleagues.
Currently, she is president of the board of directors of VoiceCatcher
(www.voicecatcher.org), a nonprofit community that connects women
writers and artists in greater Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA. CarolynMartin62@comcast.net