Poems of the Week | Utah Lake and Steady by Debra Fotheringham

Utah Lake

by Debra Fotheringham


From the porch and through

the plea of gulls and warbling songbirds,

I hear the rush and pulse of water 

out past the shoreline.


Where wild olives and cottonwoods 

embrace churned waves with woody arms,

those swells ripple and surge like the sea

but only when they’re moved by the wind.


Put your ear to my chest and

behind a brittle weave of bone

you might hear the same song.

I want you to listen.


Debra Fotheringham


by Debra Fotheringham


Last spring the western tanagers arrived in the trees lining the path by the lakeshore.

At first only one, a brief flash of scarlet and gold amid the new green.

Then another and another, until the cottonwoods were singing with tanagers,

gemstones flashing in the canopy.

The tanagers stayed for a week and every day, sometimes twice a day,

I left my home and walked along the path through the woods 

just to see them.

And in all that time, I never noticed or looked for 

the steady robin with his ruddy breast and dull brown coat,

my companion through every season. 

HeadStuff is now open for poetry submissions for our spring Poem of the Week series. We are extending this deadline to the end of April. Check our submissions page for guidelines. To read previous Poems of the Week check out our Poetry Archive.

Cover photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash

Centre photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash