Blue Marsh Lake
by Eric D. Lehman

Noon at the tiny inland sea,
where jet skis scare birds into autumn,
budding sailors oar rashly against currents
and display faded orange lifejackets
to a suspicious park ranger on the dock.

Nearby, a fattened five-foot Tiger Muskie snaps
a stunned fisherman's twenty-pound line
and back in the trees one sandy inlet hides
a pair of half-naked teenage fumblers,
whose hooks are not even set.

The wooded shore zigzags for miles,
appearing silent amidst great change
though in fact unnatural, grown fat and brash
after humans dammed a pasture-stream
into this twisting mutant pond.

Shots crack the sky and mothers engulf their spawn
but it is only target practice, a ritual
between generations, since those days
when local farmhouses did not peer
up through twenty fathoms to the sky.

From the hill above that gray, amoeba surface,
an old man watches his crinkling past,
while on the beach small island children drown
their memories of the ocean in the
lapping waves of Blue Marsh Lake.

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