it is still summer at the lake

In our town it is definitely time for school – you see the signs everywhere. Back to school ads fill newspapers and commercial minutes. The big yellow buses are rolling every morning and afternoon…

But it is still summer at the lake:

   Iridescent dragonflies light briefly and weightlessly,

   Minnow ripples move across the water,

          hinting of fish swimming in harmony beneath the surface,

   Herons sit in frozen concentration on docks and shores, waiting…


   Fish jump high and splash often, just beyond the places where you watch,

  Turtles poke heads above water and stretch out legs below for a

          sunlight warmup

   Ducks are skimming the water and – suddenly – diving beneath


Back home students wear new tennis shoes and carry backpacks with working zippers – no rips or holes, yet. Alarms sound earlier each morning…


But it is still summer at the lake:

  A mother teaches daughter to balance and paddle the YOLO board

            in the cove

  The paddleboating sisters are checking for turtles in the shallow water

            and for neighbors on docks for chats,

  An older couple backs their cruiser out of the boathouse,

            loaded with lounge chairs and refreshments for a sunset cruise

  A father weaves his boat ahead of his towing load behind –

            the tube holds squealing daughters and their friends

  Boathouses continue their creaking and moaning,

           screeching and groaning,

            moving with the waves and the wind.



Back in town homework fills the nighttime hours and lunches are packed for the day ahead. Bedroom lights are turned off earlier and new schedules are filled into charts and committed to memory.


But it is still summer at the lake:

  Bullfrogs create their nightly symphonies

  Wisps of smoke from firepits filled with fallen branches

              dawdle in the evening air

  Aromas from grills make mouths water

               for a taste of sizzling hamburgers

  Fireflies continue to light the night, still lingering

             in this surprisingly cool summer

  Low voltage lighting outlines paths to the water,

             otherwise hidden now by evening darkness

  Night birds are calling, telling their secrets and gossip

            to feathered friends,

  Deer nibble away the new growth on bushes,

            and raccoons scavenge for tidbits of trash,

  Moths are swooping and swarming,

            surrounding windows and lights on the porch


In town the establishment of routines becomes reality and to-do lists take over thought processes. Creativity and relaxation are memories of a distant time.


But it is still summer at the lake:

 Fans circulate breezes on the screened porch

 Wind chimes hint of outdoor early morning breezes

 Sunlight sparkles in shimmering points on the late afternoon waves

 Moonlight dances across the nighttime ripples

 Boats skim across the surface, jet skis spray their plumes

             in loops and circles

 Feet dangle off docks and fish take the bait in those trusty fishing holes

 Clouds drift lazily by



10 thoughts on “it is still summer at the lake

  1. elsie says:

    I want to be at your lake in the summer! I loved the contrast between in town and at the lake. Awesome!

  2. Ramona says:

    I love the imagery in your piece! If it’s okay with you, I’d love to share it in my classroom. It’s an exquisite poem!

  3. I love the way the line “But it is still summer at the lake” kept this poem anchored. What beautiful verses filled with gorgeous images.

  4. Tara says:

    Your lake sounds like a wonderful sanctuary. Lucky you!

  5. Leigh Anne says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. I love the images you present through your carefully chosen words. I agree with Ramona, I want to use this with my students also!

  6. newtreemom says:

    Beautiful writing. I loved this:
    Herons sit in frozen concentration on docks and shores, waiting… watching.
    I wrote a poem about a heron this summer, and I have loved the chance to read how others have captured herons in words.

  7. Linda Baie says:

    So lovely. That line, but it is still summer at the lake, so filled with memories and nostalgia, a magnetic pulling back. Love the way you set this up. I used to live on a lake & you brought it back to me! I too would love to share this!

  8. This is just such a beautiful post…it really needs to be bound in a gorgeous book. The images you created are very, very special. Yes, right now I perfer the lake to the alarm. xo

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