by Elizabeth Kerlikowske
Weeds clot the little cove
strangle oars and wrap around
propellers like spaghetti.
Reach for the cup and saucer of a water lily
and touch a Northern Water snake.
Bloodsuckers hitch onto legs, arms,
the size of Red Hots until later:
screams, salt shakers a little science.
Not summer people
who call this morass their beach.
Not sun worshippers. From a glade
they watch boats lose pins, kids
in waders almost drown in muck.
Most years they lose a vehicle
out on the ice. Poachers. Their offal
and sewage seep into the lake.
In August that cove brews its own
hypnotic atmosphere, swamp gas.
Some nights the water burns.