The Lake

By Sophie Cabot Black b. 1958
Day and night, the lake dreams of sky.
A privacy as old as the mountains
And her up there, stuck among peaks. The   whole eye

Fastened on hawk, gatherings of cloud or stars,
So little trespass. An airplane once
Crossed her brow; she searched but could not find

A face. Having lived with such strict beauty
She comes to know how the sun is nothing
But itself and the path it throws; the moon

A riddled stone. If only a hand
Would tremble along her cheek, would disturb. Even the elk
Pass by, drawn to the spill of creeks below—

How she cannot help abundance, even as it leaves
Her, as it sings all the way down the mountain.

Source: Poetry (January 2003).


Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Sophie Cabot Black b. 1958

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Landscapes & Pastorals, Nature

Poetic Terms Pastoral