By Ed Madden

at Lake Keowee, early spring

The long white leaves of the switch cane litter
the path like the shed petals of a winter flower.

Last night’s geese are gone, the valley quiet.
The sky is milk. The setting sun is cold and white,

the kingfisher a blue missile, iridescent.
We toss crumbs from the dock, bits of biscuit,

and swirls of perch churn the green water.
Near the shore, the water is so still and clear

white shells gleam on the red mud.
The rhododendrons have begun to bud,

but still lift the dry brown stars of last year’s
blooms. By evening, the lake is a plate of silver.

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