For the second time this year, human body parts have been found at a location named in my poetry.
A body found floating in Okauchee Lake near Road J on Oct. 26 appears to have been missing its head, part of an arm and a foot, if a photo circulating on social media is to be believed.
Police declined to comment about the photo, but Police Chief James Wallis said, “It does appear that the body may have been in the lake for an extended period of time.”
The relevant poem: “Okauchee Light”:
Across the dark Okauchee lake, a light,
the marker for the end of someone’s dock,
is strangely lit at nearly twelve o’clock
and breaks the solid black that is the night.
From here, across the chilling April lake,
through busy bar room glass I see that glow,
but life or rooms beyond I’ll never know.
One light does not a utopia make.
Quite like your smile, that single man-made star:
Up there, on stage, you flash a smile at me,
and crinkle eyes to give the gesture weight,
but like the dock-end light, you are too far;
your glow is there for someone else to see,
and now, for me at least, it is too late.
If anything happens six miles south of Tonica, Illinois, I will probably be interviewed.
Weird that “Okauchee Light” did not appear in one of my chapbooks from the middle 1990s. It will appear in my forthcoming volume Coffeehouse Memories, due out whenever I get around to it.