The Maynard
Spring 2014

Elizabeth Schultz


A birch leans out over the lake,
its roots land-locked, its head
of leaves swooping toward us
as we canoe along the shore.
Greenery surges in front of us,
massed leaves twisting, shining.

We paddle close in, crouch
to clear the birch’s branches.
But these leafless lower limbs,
dark and dangling, scratch
our shoulders. We are snagged
by the living and the dying.

Hand-over-hand, we haul
ourselves through the tree’s
heavy shadow. Untangled,
we move again, inhaling as
each stroke slices through
the lake’s sheen into its depths,
exhaling as we lift the paddle