by Emily Lake Hansen
I learned to swim inland. Somewhere
in Maine my mother took me to a lake,
a round, sandy bottom thing shaded by trees.
We called it a beach as if we could make
it so by naming it. If we called it love,
then it was love. The first duty station
I remember wasn’t even on a coast. There
it snowed in droves and we lived in a house
with green shutters. Or at least I think
they were green. My memory’s broken
sometimes like a naval base without a sea.
My father told planes where to land,
my mother cried into her soup, I read
fairy tales in the closet and we called it
home. At the lake I swam out to a far
away dock. I cannonballed into schools
of minnows. I shivered in my pink suit,
the water cold like snow.
Emily Lake Hansen is the author of the chapbook, The Way the Body Had to Travel (dancing girl press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Nightjar Review, The McNeese Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and Atticus Review, among others. She received an MFA from Georgia College and currently writes, teaches, and plays too many children's board games in Atlanta.