Harveston Lake by Doris Watts

Harveston Lake

This lake is actually quite meek and small,
and there are those that might not call this lake
a “lake” at all. Perhaps a puddle-pond
with narrow shore – assuming such a shore

can be called “shore,” And there’s a sidewalk path
where children ride their bikes and walkers pause
for crossing coots. This lake’s not deep yet deep
enough for fishermen to fish: the fish

themselves once caught are small just like the lake
so must go back and then be caught again,
or if the fisherman feels generous,
are tossed to the night heron waiting there

to share. There’s room enough here on this lake
for small disputes between the coots and ducks
and for a turtle sunning on an out-
cropped rock. And this lake easily contains

and then gives back the city lights, reflected
ladderlike all night, and even sometimes
a full moon. Now surely this is lake enough,
except, of course, I guess, for those poor fish.

by Doris Watts

Editor’s Note: Repetition, rhyme, and iambic pentameter weave this poem into the perfect image of a place where all are welcome: children, fishermen, birds, and, of course, the “poor fish.” This poem makes me yearn for summer.

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