Never Lost at her Shores by Sophie McCarron

What a serene sound, somehow deep and shallow all at once.

What a calming color, as if she has never hurt a soul, as if she couldn’t.

And what pain she’s gone through I think, as I see the polluted expanse of her body.

She has shallowed, leaving behind the crust of her past self, now small and fragile, but still beautiful as she ever was.

I remember visiting the Great Salt Lake as a child, walking through the clear water,
as she reflected the beauty of the sky, almost achieving the soft blue above her.

I remember the soft layer of salt her body left on mine, and the kiss of her sandy floor.

I miss the birds. I miss the salty smell that some dislike. It reminds me of days at the beach and how peaceful it is to walk through water so shallow.
It feels as if you could walk for an eternity and the water would never rise above your sandy ankles.

I remember being so careless, not minding that my clothes were soaked, just wanting her to surround me and hold me.

When you watch the sunset at the lake, you feel surrounded by sky, as the lake imitates the beauty of the clouds.
You feel the comforting chill of her lulling the life around her into a sleepy rest.
The flow of the breezes lazily stumbling across the sand and through the grass.

As I stop to examine the prints of a coyote that wandered across the expanse of her shore before sunrise,
I understand that her comfort is shared by all the beings she loves.

Some call this land lifeless, her salty tears housing nothing but the brine shrimp.

But as I see the beautiful rocks nestled in the sand, the paw prints of coyotes and feathers left behind during flight,
I understand that the life that surrounds her is not nonexistent, it is only a lazily kept secret meant for those who observe.

I thank her for the comfort of her breeze, for the sweetness of her pink tones at sunrise.
For the wonderful feeling of home and safety she affords me, as if I could never be lost at her shores.

I taste her salt as my brother splashes in her expansiveness. I watch him play and grasp his hand.

I confirm to her that my children will feel the comfort she has shown me and my mother.
How she has held us.

But will they?

Note from the Poet: The lake has always been a part of my life, since I was little. I grew up right next to it essentially, my city is named after it. The lake is my ethereal mother, and I hope to keep her around for as long as possible.

This verse is part of irreplaceable, a collective prayer of praise calling for the restoration of Great Salt Lake.

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