for Shahnaz Habib
Damp sand, an open door to walking amid ox-eye daisies, purple larkspurs. Your map gilds the lake path strewn with smooth rocks—grey, rust—color of pilgrimage. We pocket your prayer beads, my rosary; reach the concrete bridge, its sunrise curve. Landing ducks, geese break ripples. Second bridge, stone over lily pads. The third floats the mantra of our pace toward what draws us: statue of a girl deep into pregnancy. Fire in her womb. Cross of prediction. By the chapel wall, two workers uproot weeds stalk by stalk, trade stories: an ivied boathouse; kayaks trusting cracked ice on Sagatagan. Hawks circle the trail back. You trust me to walk the silence this day teaches: muffled dance of firs, oaks; drift of dragonflies. Horizon clouds stack in shelves. Herons snag black bullheads under curtains of reeds swaying in shallows. Salaam, your eyes say. Pax tecum, mine.