I took my stepdaughter to the Starlight Lake
in Wayne County, Pa.
I promised her that we’d see behemoths
and crocodiles playfully swimming
in the pond’s still shadowy waters
as we would glide along soundlessly
in a little rowboat.
We would really try to see
those mysterious animals
eating bread upon the waters
from the hands of people,
who themselves become fairy-tale beasts
in mirror reflections of the afternoon light.
She woke up at dawn
on the pseudo antique couch at the B&B,
glued to the window,
looking at the somnolent lake,
with nothing but the grey milk
of an early hour outside.
Since then she’s grown up
and believes somebody else.
And I am still gliding along the endless lake,
looking for crocodiles and behemoths
under the transparent surface
of the deep waters,
holding bread, holding breath.
Reed Magazine, 2/21/06