Pin Oak Lake
by Olive L. Sullivan

The world is turning shades of blue,
a wall of clouds moving in from the west
to meet the darkening sky behind us.
Pin Oak Lake lies still, waiting,
a palette for the sky to fill.
Two hawks rise up, their cries
Eerie in the winter dusk,
their feathers striking the last notes of gold
from the setting sun. They
wheel and circle, a dance of rage
or love or something in between —
We cannot tell. It does not matter.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Pin Oak is a small fishing lake set like a little jewel in the Southwest Missouri prairie. It was a favorite place for me to walk with my dogs, Romeo and Ryoki, and my mother. The thing about my part of the Midwest — the Missouri/Kansas borderlands — is that, without mountains or skyscrapers or oceans to look at, we are left with an amazing panorama of sky. Whenever an incomer complains there is no scenery in Kansas, we tell them to look up. The sky says it all, if you know how to listen.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Pin Oak Lake (Missouri)” by F. Victor Sullivan.

Jar of Stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Olive L. Sullivan’s work has appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, The Little Balkans Review, A Room of One’s Own, and other journals. She teaches journalism at Missouri Southern State University and lives across the border in Kansas. When not writing, she travels frequently, paints, and works on renovating a 100-year-old house.