My mother leaves a long message
on the phone machine, filling up the tape
with the colors of Lake Michigan.
Through vast picture windows
she looks at the lake all day.
The lake is blue this morning,
like fescue grass;
or slightly going gray, like my hair.
The lake is aqua–in the sun–
just like the turqoise from New Mexico,
and it’s also green like the Emerald City.
The lake is pale at dusk,
like an old woman’s life.
The lake is thin like coffee
with skim milk,
or blue-black like seared steak.
The lake is thick tonight
sheaves of photographs of us,
my love for my mother in color.