On Sunday: "Hello from perfect!"

Today, The Lake

Today, the lake
is a mirror. You can bend over and see yourself. You like yourself like this, this angle. You are balanced.
     Tomorrow, the lake will be a swimming hole. You will watch your children, Buddy and Jane, in their bathing suits, streaks of sunscreen on their noses. You will watch your husband watching as they play.
    The lake will also be a postcard. "Hello from perfect!" it might say. You will wish it could all freeze like this.
     Next week, the lake will be a memory. "Nice summer" you will say. "We had fun."
     You will look into the bathroom mirror. That will be your lake. You will look dead on and uneven. As if something could knock you down.
     It's something that has been coming. By spring, your husband will leave you. You have been noticing his absences, his muffled late-night phone calls.
     Your children, too, will start to leave. Each day school will teach them something else about the world. Explorers and geography. One day, they will bolt in, plop their books on the counter. They will tell you that even though they like the lake, it's boring—there's nothing to do. They will ask to go to the ocean instead.

Francine Witte
from Water-Stone Review, Volume 14