Madeline Island, Lake Superior, Wisconsin

In memory of Molly, Peggy Schwarz’s dog

Yesterday, Stockton Island,
Michigan Island, the Porcupines—
all quilted with fog.
This morning they are visible, but remote,
purple behind the watercolors
of Superior’s blue. I wander

the beach with Molly,
whose golden fur ripples in all directions.
I move more slowly, searching
through layers of sand for agates
and other chalcedony.

She stops and turns to see if I am following.
She always wants more time
to weave in and out of coves,
stir the driftwood,
nuzzle her nose in and out
of small caves, bark
at gulls tilting overhead.

I give her that, I’m gathering
rubies striated with pearl,
dark green jade, swirled
clusters of amber, even though
I know the brilliance of rocks
will fade as dreams do
after they are lifted
from the rivers of sleep. I pocket

the ones richest in color. I stop
my search for early morning
jewelry and begin to jog
into the dog’s bright day, picking up
the pace, trying to catch up,
as she fades further from me,
lapping up the fresh morning.