South Haven, Michigan


My daughter stares out at the horizon through a camera picturing

she and I in a midwestern landscape, flaming


pink blush of sunset against coarse cornstalks turned dark charcoal

for the eye to imagine the fields will never appear


any other way than the way she has seen them. The world

is whatever we choose to make it, she writes below the photograph


on Instagram, then turns the camera outward again,

this time to say live however you want and posts our elongated shadows


against the sidewalk in this small town where we spend a Saturday.

Yesterday, the trees were flocked with bronze and burnt orange hues,


but today they begin to shed their leaves and she asks us to decide

what to do with the time that is given us.


We round the corner of a street to see Lake Michigan—in her feed

she calls it the ocean. We both want to live


by the ocean someday. But, maybe, as she says,

we are already here: the shoreline, the breakers, the seashells we take.