Like this lake, the poems that follow reflect the heights of my personal experience, while they also suggest the depths that live below the surface. I present them in alphabetical order by title; they are not chronological because I don’t know their creation dates — in fact, they are, as representatives of my soul, timeless.


A Fine Soup

The flower I never gave you

For love

The one I lost on the way

To your door


Has resurfaced

Now, petals sprawled

Sunshine center perforated

With little holes open to the light


Certainly still presentable

I could give it to you now

But you’re out wandering,

Picking your own flowers


What a wayward soul you are

Tossing in your own sea,

A soup of mixed vegetables

With noodle alphabet


You spell out words

Like, “help,” and “rescue”

In pasta

As if you needed saving


I would save you

But your words lose their meaning

As I swallow

My taste buds are illiterate


So you’re left floundering

Amidst the vegetables and broth

And I was going to give you a flower

I can’t wait to give you a flower.


I’ve had my fill of soup

You lie breathless at the bottom

Of the bowl

Arms, legs sprawled


What a journey you’ve had

I thought you’d been out picking flowers

But you must have fallen

Into this soup


You must have been struck by lightning

Knocked off balance

Landed in my lunch

Perhaps you deserved it


At least I didn’t eat you

I lift the flower over the bowl

Where you lie

Your face beet red from the heat of the soup


I shake it

And let grains of pollen

Waft down

To your eyes


Then I pluck the petals

One by one

Let them fall

And cover you like a soft shroud

—Susan E. Briggs