At the Lake
by Michael Escoubas

We had waited all winter for Dad to say,
“Let’s load up and go to the lake.” This meant,

a whole month, dangling feet off the pier,
listening to bullfrogs bellow on lily pads,

feeling the embrace of the drooping willow,
catching bluegill as they darted through reeds

and green sawgrass. Our tans deepened to
honey-brown, our hair changed to straw-yellow.

The night-sky became an upside-down bowl
pouring stars. Duke, our Golden Retriever,

never left our side, sharing in equal measures
everything we did. We marked the “lake-days”

off the calendar, thinking we could stave off
leaving for the city. But that day arrived

anyway. These memories remain in my heart.
Now, my own children can’t wait to hear

me say, “Let’s load the car, time to head out
for the lake and lie beneath heaven’s bowl of stars.”


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