Lake Erie, ON - Dani Couture

My name is Dani Couture. I'm from a lot of places my parents are in the Canadian Forces. There are countless water bodies that I have a connection to, but the one I am thinking about now is Lake Erie specifically where Detroit River morphs into Lake Erie. It is a place I seek and find out in every way I can. I moved away from home a long time ago but I keep going back. My parents live on the shores of the Detroit River right where it empties into Lake Erie. So do my grandparents. And that's the water they used to irrigate their farm when my mom was growing up. That’s the water they fish with like we go fishing out front, that’s how we water the tomato fields out back.

And when I go home now we just do the same thing - it’s like you eat tomato sandwiches for breakfast and then we are up at 5 and we're out fishing on the lake. Every year we have a fishing competition. There's a trophy my mom kind of frankensteined together and every year it is whoever gets the biggest pickerel. I alway win but dad puts in what he calls the honey hole so I am a bit lucky. I was walking around tonight just thinking about watermarks and I realized half the tattoos that I have with me have to do with the lake or that River where it comes in together. Every time I go down there the first thing I do is go down to the dock and I just sit there and I watch the ships go by and I count the hours until we can drop the boat into the water in the morning and go fish.

A poem that was influenced by water was written while at the NWC Writers summit in 2014.

The Omega Trick

“I want this to be the last thing I’ll ever do to stop here and say I’ll go no further.” — Kate Hall

A portside slap of white hieroglyph
warns objects are larger than they appear
and do not disappear beneath the surface.
As if something that would dare

that close would turn back. This intent
has legs. Too late, I’ve already forgotten
I can die. But if I did, it would be
some signature trick: a released fish

knuckleballed into the lake and taken up
in flight. This desire to get close
is all opposing mirrors — the universe
trying to both see and collapse

into itself. Some days, I tell you
there exists only two types of hunger,
except, in the end, only one. The first
eats the other. It’s like how I imagine

galaxies we’re told to believe in
when I’ve never been to California.
Upriver, a parade through a stalled parade
of empty buildings. Huge,

clumsy machinations Oz’d
with Model T descendants. The waters
no longer run red or court fire.
We’ve found better blends

to run off. Crushed pills in spoonfuls
of corn syrup. Come, the algae blooms
are so thick, we can walk on water
we can’t drink. At a certain hour,

the sky and river look twinned,
an untilled grey, and I can understand
how a plane can be piloted into water
thinking it was the right way up.

- Dani Couture
 

Waterbody
Lake Erie, ON
Contributor
Dani Couture

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