Nokomis Woman

by Lauren Kukla

Was it a spirit then?

I saw,
that frost-spun morning?
Rising from the lake.
Singing me northern.

Her body stooped
but strong.
Bare feet on cold sand.

Black one-piece.
Long wet hair—
gray washed in silver—
plastered against her bare back.
Baptized in October.

Steam rising off her weathered body—
an animal body‚

Life-worn but at peace.

With itself.
With the world.
Unconscious of the cold.