The Glacial Lake

The Glacial Lake

While camping I came into this valley and saw, for the first time, a glacial lake. The colour of the water is created from glacial ice melt and the finely ground rock that is called “glacial flour”, it turns the water a wonderful turquoise colour.

The Glacial Lake

Excerpted from: When the Animals Leave this Place
By Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Underneath ice caps, once glacial peaks
deer, elk, vixen begin to ascend.
Free creatures camouflaged as
waves and waves receding far

from plains pulling

upward slopes and faraway snow dusted mountains.
On spotted and clear cut hills robbed of fir,
high above wheat tapestried valleys, flood plains
up where headwaters reside.

Droplets pound, listen.

Hoofed and pawed mammals
pawing and hoofing themselves up, up.
Along rivers dammed by chocolate beavers,
trailed by salamanders—mud puppies.

Plunging through currents,
          above concrete and steel man-made barriers

these populations of plains, prairies, forests flee
in such frenzy, popping splash dance,
pillaging cattail zones, lashing lily pads—
the breath of life in muddy ponds, still lakes.

Liquid beads slide on windshield glass

along cracked and shattered pane,
spider-like with webs and prisms.
“Look, there, the rainbow
touched the ground both ends down!”

Full arch seven colors showered, heed
what Indigenous know, why long ago,
they said no one belongs here, surrounding them,
that this land was meant to be wet with waters of nearby
not fertile to crops and domestic graze.

The old ones said,

“When the animals leave this place
the waters will come again.
This power is beyond the strength of man.
The river will return with its greatest force.”...

Allison Adele Hedge Coke, “When Animals Leave This Place” from Blood Run. Copyright © 2006 by Allison Adele Hedge Coke. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.
Source: Blood Run (Salt Publishing, 2006)