Here’s some nice old material. I wrote this in high school, and could never figure out a way to make it better, although I know it must exist. Suggestions?




There is a family
that sits on the rock—
The one that juts out into the lake,
that dries in the sun,
The one with the daunting boulder face behind it,
which itself is covered in shade from the trees.

There is a family
that sits on the rock
every single Sunday,
The two little ones watching perplexedly
the minnows, who skim the shallows,
with wonder;
And the mother and father
sit on the dry rock and watch the sun
circle until it hides behind
the tops of the trees on the opposite shore.

They never go swimming,
That family that sits on the rock.
The little ones never so much as touch the water
with their questing fingertips
as they watch the little minnows flicker under the surface.

Near as they come,
Their noses never kiss the tiny ripples
that race across the lucent surface
as they kneel and bend innocently over
the tremulous, shifting water.

The mother and father lack the energy they once had
to look for minnows. They lack the strength to rip their shirts off
to bare their chests to sun and lake
and each other.
They don’t know how the minnows swim.

Instead, they simply sit and see and hear:
The listless smells
and dry echoes of the place.
They recline, in the shape
of a frozen half-smile
halfway hidden in shadow.

They know not what the lake hides in its depths,
That little family that sits on the rock.
They know nothing about the lake
save that it must, must be true.