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   m o t h e r    n a p p i n g    a t    t h e    l a k e

--- L A U R A   H O P E -G I L L

I want to paint myself here,
make it permanent.

I'd need the brush of sleep to mix on the

primordial palette of rock grown hot like me with the sun.

I'd need the smell of the water, this water I've

returned to, this water my skin never forgot it breathes.

The canvas would have to be the size of memory stretched

so taut across my bones that only the moss and its chatter

of camps where girls are mean and the only birth of my daughter

can cover it. I'd paint myself at 36, the story of my breasts

and hair, all this evidence of a changing life, and in the same

single stroke, recall the glacial shifts, add a

whisper of loon, a pine, a chasm, and an hour.

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