I stole another woman's only scarf
and fed the calf and brushed its coat.
I tore the scarf to pieces and swore
I'd never leave the lake. The map of the lake
had a place marked by an arrow.
I buried the scarf there. I lived a little too close
to the shore and the pelicans gathered at
my back door. I emptied a bucket of fish
in the kitchen sink and opened the window wide.
Will you believe me when I said I didn’t mean
to steal it? The scarf was hers, and no one there
to tell me not to take it. The pelicans
dived toward the window, but only one
made it in. The smallest one. Do you know
what happened then—how it filled its bill
with fish and flew back out the way
it came. The fish a gift for a bird that could
find enough to eat without me. The scarf
in pieces, buried near the lake with
other secrets kept nearby. I slept while the frogs
and flies sang back and forth their night time
songs. The lake was mine, the calf and pelican
safe in my keeping. I could knit another
scarf and leave it on her doorstep. I could
fill the sink with fish again. I was patient.
It was an accident, the way I took the scarf
when no one stood nearby.