By Dorianne Laux
Man-made, bejesus hot, patches of sand turned to glass.
Home of Iron Mountain and McCulloch chainsaws.
London Bridge, disassembled, shipped, reassembled.
The white sturgeon stocked, found dead, some lost,
hiding in the depths of Parker Dam. Fifty year-old
monsters, maybe twenty feet long. Lake named
for the Mojave word for blue. Havasu. Havasu.
What we called the sky on largemouth bass days,
striped bass nights, carp, catfish, crappie, razorback,
turtles, stocked, caught, restocked. I stood waist deep
in that dammed blue, and I was beautiful, a life saver
resting on my young hips, childless, oblivious
to politics, to the life carted in and dumped
into the cauldron I swam through, going under,
gliding along the cool sand like a human fish,
white bikini-ed shark flashing my blind side.
We heard a woman died, face down in the sand,
drunk on a 125 degree day. That night we slept
on dampened sheets, a hotel ice bucket on the
bedside table. We sucked the cubes round, slid
the beveled edges down our thighs and spines,
let them melt to pools in the small caves
below our sternums. While you slept beside me
I thought of that woman, her body one long
third degree burn, sweating and turning
under a largo moon, the TV on: seven dead
from Tylenol, the etched black wedge of the
Vietnam Memorial, the Commodore Computer
unveiled, the first artificial heart, just beginning
to wonder if something might be wrong.
The sun was out all afternoon on Monday! After not having seen it for nearly a week, I was starting to get seasonal affective disorder weeks early (and I bet I needed the Vitamin D). I had lots of work and chores to get done in the house, but I went out twice for walks -- our neighborhood is still full of active squirrels and chipmunks, though I only saw one bunny and the deer must have been elsewhere. I did not do anything to celebrate either Columbus Day or Canadian Thanksgiving besides enjoy the turning leaves.
Adam was finishing his Common App essay, which I proofread for him (we had a debate about whether "it sucked" was too colloquial for a college essay; I believe he finally agreed to take it out). Mondays are now Dilemma Night since Sleepy Hollow and Beauty and the Beast are on at the same freakin' time! Paul wanted to watch the former, so we watched that when it aired and will catch up with the latter On Demand tomorrow. Some pics of our turtle encounter at Lake Needwood on Saturday:
We found this tiny snapping turtle on the concrete hiking-and-biking path between the creek and Lake Needwood, quite a distance from any water.
After quickly checking Google, we determined that it probably needed to be put near the water, which we figured might have washed it ashore when it flooded its banks in the rain the day before.
We carried the aggrieved turtle in a jacket down to the lake...
...where it promptly swam away from us.
It briefly considered climbing onto this stick, then swam on.
Here is a photo taken by younger son, who first spotted the turtle.