We lived on a hill that sloped into a lake.
Smallmouth bass tickled our ankles,
minnows shadowed rocks
The fish were timeless,
light as tendrils,
displayed by sun and moon,
the rotations of light, a water clock
under the skin,
they swam the same waters,
free in ways that I have not known.
Water so clear I almost choked,
seeing dead eyes staring from a sheath of skin
lost on the bottom
to all but swimmers.
The small ghosts that wait and catch.
Sometimes I'd lean out my bedroom window,
watching my insomniac father,
full of nerves
lodged with pills and drink,
dragging the lake with his boat,
catching what he couldn't see.
He stood out on the edge of the craft,
wobbling his pole,
among the quicksilver, bluegills which outran him for years,
more easily than any daughter could.
Ann Robinson has retired from the Marin County Superior Courts after twenty-five years. She currently owns a farming operation with sister in Arkansas. Her work has been published in American Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Fourteen Hills, Hiram Poetry Review, Natural Bridge, Poet Lore, Spoon River Review, and Valparaiso. Her book of poems, Stone Window, published by Bark for Me Publications, came out in January 2014.