The poem that took the shape of a state

One last memo from Elkhart.... a very old (& now a little revised) "shape poem"

 Maze of lakes in northern Minnesota,
 Crisp air adrift on owl's wings
 Between the wide gray skies
 And fanfare of muted pines;
 Waves lapping, lapping
 Against the riding prow
 Of the motorboat, my dad
 At the tiller, looking
 Out toward shore, quiet,
 His beard grown rough now
 After a weekend in the woods –

 I'm afraid to dive too deep
 Into the scales of the past,
 My callow bones, the large
 Boy head full of springing
 Illusions, upstart to replace
 A sense of imperfection
 With voracious all-devouring
 Enveloping thought – fishline,
 This daily bait of blind birdsong.
 Before you, Iron Range long gone, I
 Will always be that unbound, reedy son.

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