Lake House ||| from 32 Poems

I can see the rift in the lake as David’s father yells again
for his mother to gun the engine
She guns it but he’s still too
old to get up on the water     He won’t stop saying to David
Your mother doesn’t know how to drive a boat
At the house he eases onto the sofa    turns on the game
At least the fucking remote is working
After my mother dropped me off
David told me there’s no bathroom
It’s the wilderness boy     We pee in trees
Twenty minutes he let me squirm
At night David’s father keeps the cooler at his feet
gives us tastes of Amstel Lite
He rubs Maggie behind the ears     calls her Maggot
Her eyes by now are almost the color of milk
Don’t call her that     even in jest
David’s mother says     holding back a little giggle
Next day he’s gentle when I try to get up
Soon you’ll be skiing like a pro     He doesn’t go
in the water again     just takes the wheel for us instead
See    if you have a decent driver . . . (loud
so David’s mother hears)     It’s okay to take
some time alone     my mother said before she left
Friends get tired of each other now and then
even close friends     I watch TV for an hour
while David collects crayfish out by the dock
His mother asks if we had a fight     If he’s teasing you
it’s only because he thinks he has home turf advantage
She brings me a snack     then David comes back
and we play cards till dinner
When I get home at the end of the week
my father will have finished moving out


Michael Homolka’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as Parnassus, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, and Witness. He works in book production in New York City.
His poem, “Mindfulness,” is forthcoming in John LeCarre (TLR, Winter 2015).
“Lake House” first appeared in 32 Poems in Fall/Winter 2013.