Terri McCord


The lake seems brailled—

dozens of turtles’ heads
in braided water.

Like a hand      brushing
against a fabric’s warp,
mild wind distorts.

Imagine walking on words,

on a teletype of turtles
turned into alphabet.

What am I trying to say?
No one else is in sight.

I toss bread on the surface,
disrupt whatever message

as the water
frays with arriving geese.
As sunset nears     the lake unwinds

the geese honk
their code
for more.

Author’s Comment: “Reading a Lake” is a conversation about the mysterious, sometimes elusive, qualities of language.

Bio: Terri McCord is the author of In the Company of Animals, The Art and the Wait, The Beauts, and The Rose Spot. Kakalak 2016 awarded her an honorable mention, and she has won awards from the Poetry Society of South Carolina, Emrys, Hub City, and the South Carolina Arts Commission.


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