Complines at Lower Saranac


The Blue Line -The Magazine of the Adirondacks published its 35th Anniversary Issue in 2014. My poem “Complines at Lower Saranac” was included in it.

Read it here:

Complines on Lower Saranac Lake

We bid our hosts goodbye, then tie

the flashlight to the bow and paddle perfect j-hooks,

vowed to silence like Trappists, our vessel

cupped by the black surface of the Saranac at midnight.

Neither of us speaks in the night made holy by the prayers of loons and

the vaulted ceiling of constellations.

We look back at our friends’ campsite nestled high on the lumpy island.

The embers of their fire twinkle,

the scent of roasted corn, like incense, is suspended in the air.

Arriving back at our own island, we pull the canoe up and turn her over

on her stomach, like a baby, patting her with gratitude.

Tomorrow night, for dinner, our friends will row to us,

visiting our damp triangle of a tent, admiring the view,

walking the fifty paces around our little sanctuary.

They’ll bear blackberries for dessert and nootkatone for the no see’ums.

And so it goes, back and forth, a short sweet week

in the quiet, borrowed neighborhood

of a sacred lake.

Published by

Gabriella Brand

Gabriella Brand is a writer, adventurer, and educational consultant. She can't stop teaching and learning foreign languages. She would like to walk on all the continents (three more to go!). Her husband is extremely patient and her children are, fortunately, all grown up.

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