Living in Michigan

for Marc Sheehan who wonders why he still lives in Michigan

Have you really forgotten why?

Forgotten the feel of a sun

warmed concrete dam

over the Chippewa river,

how the water is the color

of bourbon, and how our dreams

took flight before our lives

became anchors?

Forgotten the rapids on the Grand

that named a city,

the feel of snow on your face

like a lover’s kiss?

Forgotten salmon fighting

their way over the weir

at Charlevoix?

Forgotten the pull of Superior,

a cosmic lodestone of such power,

that it seems a privilege

to drown there.

Forgotten the long blue line

of summer on Lake Michigan,

sunrise over Huron,

the Straits of Mackinaw,

and the endless inland lakes

full of perch and bluegill,

bullfrogs and cattails.

In winter you can even walk

on the water.


Ruby Hoy is a poet fascinated by the natural world, the button accordion, and the wandering path. She has published in Red Cedar Review, Green River Review, Hiram Poetry Review, Coyote’s Journal, Hudson View and others lost to memory. She has won poetry prizes from Milwaukee Irish Festival, and the Irish Books Arts and Music Conference, and was a 2014 finalist for the Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize. This part of the journey finds her living between the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge Mountains.