Pledge

I pledge allegiance to blue and white, not red.
Reflected in the axis of the horizon, the sky mirrors the deep waters, waves tipped with thin dark ridges and air brushed with wispy clouds.

I feel most whole with a roof over my head that isn’t static but rustles and waves and lets warm, clear light shine down between a hundred thousand green maple leaves brushing gently against birch and pine.

I stand with the family united by bare feet, fleeces and running shorts, holding plastic glasses of tap water, the others who can breathe the deepest and laugh the loudest when the air is clean and lake-sweet and the breeze is cold,

The others who plod straight into the kitchen with sand and dirt between their toes, those who have called in sick to spend time at the lake but have been put in their place at the hands of nature, forced to hide inside by winter winds, the owners by necessity of four-wheel drive and fat-tire bikes,

Those who may work in an office or store but live in a patchwork quilt of forests and anti-suburbia, the home of hot wild rice and tiny breweries, where the cheers are as loud for bluegrass music as for rap, where the whole town floods as one to the shores when the water freezes over or the air gets ‘way too hot’ at eighty-two.

Where I lay my head to rest in bed and the smell of bonfire and mellow night drifts in my window.

Where I lay my head to rest, shut my eyes, and feel the peace of home.

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