A pied-billed grebe
has already paddled madly
halfway across this cove
(its crested head sporting a half-hearted mohawk,
its body a sputtering vector moving toward the northwest,
Lake Superior swollen like a too-observant eye)
before I realize
that it has darted out from under this porch
that hangs over the water where I stand holding my coffee,
not wanting to go home.
It’s as though a magician
has produced an egg from my ear,
or I’ve rummaged in my purse looking for car keys
and I’ve found a room in my house
I didn’t know was there.
Somewhere, that grebe has
and chicks that have fledged and gone
by this late September Sunday,
and a worn and forlorn nest
patched together with empty reeds and sticks,
bits of plastic water bottles and lily pads,
feathers and hollow crayfish claws –
bobbing along the indifferent surface
of the lake, pulled north
by the false promises of the moon,
swamped by the wake of passing boats.
I wonder then,
my coffee grown cold in its paper cup,
only the fading ripples left on the lake,
what I may be capable of now,
what other secrets
I may harbor.