The Becoming

The lake bottom we drift over
is unremarkable, like,
well, any other lake bottom.

A carpet of bushy low water plants.
White shells of defunct tiny clams.

encrusted in whatever it is
that encrusts rocks in lake water.

The few thousands of years
that this bottom has been visible
as rocks grow more encrusted in . . . rock leather?

Color is for the ancient oceans
painted in eons of contending life.
Here in the lake, life

is as transient as lakes are to geology,
ephemera of scant time in evolution,
dying in millennia that are seconds to eons.

Let that bare equation serve to mark the potential beauty
down there under the clarity, waiting as we wait
to become part of the dying landscape.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.