Lake Echo, Dear

By C. D. Wright 1949–2016
Is the woman in the pool of light   
really reading or just staring   
at what is written

Is the man walking in the soft rain   
naked or is it the rain   
that makes his shirt transparent

The boy in the iron cot   
is he asleep or still
fingering the springs underneath

Did you honestly believe   
three lives could be complete

The bottle of green liquid   
on the sill is it real

The bottle on the peeling sill   
is it filled with green

Or is the liquid an illusion   
of fullness

How summer’s children turn   
into fish and rain softens men

How the elements of summer
nights bid us to get down with each other   
on the unplaned floor

And this feels painfully beautiful   
whether or not
it will change the world one drop

C. D. Wright, “Lake Echo, Dear” from Steal Away: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by C. D. Wright. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P. O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368-0271,

Source: Steal Away: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)

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Poet C. D. Wright 1949–2016

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Summer, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 C. D. Wright


C.D. Wright was born in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, the daughter of a judge and a court reporter. She published over a dozen books, including ShallCross (2016); One With Others (2011), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a National Book Award; Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008); Like Something Flying Backwards: New and Selected Poems (2007); and Tremble (1996). She also provided the text to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Summer, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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