Irene Savine: From My Room In The Old Mill By The Fox River

The river is frozen and the men walk out to their black tents
to fish long after-work hours on the ice
this small miracle of climate
makes me think about you, Father Allouez,
crossing the Bay, to Michigan,
a clove in your kerchief to stay alert.
Walking on water,
right under the blue eye
of God
did you ever tire
desire surrender
to the great soft drifts
and sleep, sleep to death?
In all the languages you knew
was there a word for a sky so big
it could make you forget
the cathedrals of France?