Some Waters

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.



2 thoughts on “Some Waters

  1. Oh the paradoxes of childhood, or how point of view messed me down. Down, as in the water, in the river, or in the lake that became a reservoir, Eerie, Erie, the scale of perceptions shift, even as they link, especially, as you note, as you move “to the interior.” The longing here, the fear of open water, the need for the thing and the fear. Beautiful images and music, the evocation of absent waves, and the movement’s in the line, the enjambed line.

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