I’ll tell you what I saw
I’ll tell you I saw light
dancing by the river

first the sun shot through
the black branches of that maple
laid out blue shadows
on the snow near the church
so I followed

deer tracks led me down
a trail – narrow, lined with red willow
thin whips springing as I passed
just above the river shining pewter
cold and sweet to my lips
when I bent to taste

then I turned, found the inlet
almost frozen
ice hooding the shore

late day sun beamed
over the hill
shone low across the water
caught ice flaked on its edge
and began the dance

did I pray, you ask
I was on my knees
in the snow, staring
as the light flashed and played
on snow crystals
ice sheets
insistent river

through the prism of my tears
I laughed accepted the gift

I tell you
this is a place
for worship

~ Catherine McLaughlin

Catherine McLaughlin is a poet, photographer, freelance writer. Her artistic work is often informed by the natural world, especially the Peace River Country in northern Alberta where she has lived for more than 30 years. She has always felt most at home on the land and it continues to fascinate her. Catherine’s poetry has been published in many publications and collections and twice she toured parts of central and southern Alberta, sharing her Peace Country poetry and photography. Her writing has attracted attention in several contests, including the People’s Poetry Fall Contest (1999) and the Grande Prairie Public Library’s poetry contest (2003).

One Response to “worship”

  1. Elaine read this to me over the phone and we have been talking about your poetry and your inspirations and she tells me you are one of the many “people she loves” . . .

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