This is my first blog post ever! When I was writing my annotations of places, I realized that all of the places I call lakes are reservoirs. Even the “duck pond” that I went to as a kid was a reservoir in the Cleveland Metroparks. I want to think my child-self was the one who named in Duck Pond, but that’s probably taking the credit from my parents. The two images above are of that water place, technically the Hinckley Reservoir/Reservation, in its concrete waterfall glory and the more scenic fall space that I imagine it’s looking like right now.
All the lakes I love are reservoirs
with concrete waterfalls kids jump off
in spring when the water rises. I walk
the metro parks and name them duck
ponds, lined with water lilies, maple, ash
and the asphalt path. The real lake is too great.
Eerie, an ocean. My parents don’t know
what to do with water. Just like
the summer the septic tank gave
up on us, too full, and a pond grew
up beside the crab apple, scummed
and stinking, cattails next to the tiny
rigged shower—garden hose through
basement window. I scrubbed my body
to the sunset, black limbs of the Osage Orange
trees. I have inherited
the fear of water. I learned to swim
when I was ten. I kayak near the shore.
I moved to land-locked Kansas, drove
through drought and yellowed corn
fields the only variation waves
of red-brown sorghum. When we
drive back east and the combines
kick clouds of dust between the turbines
you tell me how it takes 3,000 years for soil
to form. I want to be at standing rock
and I want to stand buried to my knees
in silt. Oh how our grandparents stood
tall on top of concrete, trusted the river
to wash the slick away. When will I stand
near fresh water, terrified into awe. When
will we live again beside lakes.