Lake Rules (Winter Version)

Float like a trapped air bubble in the motionless water,
and kiss the uncracked surface. A new pair of skates, 

a bit too sharp, will soon save you. Catch the goggles, 
the cellphones, the promises of betterment that sank

in the summer and your dad’s sacred oak paddle—
anything but a fish. If you go canoeing & swimming, 

tether a bungee cord from keel or ankle to dock and  
snap out of your feather-hat-fantasies as soon as frost 

bites. Stay inside and toss knotted pine in the fireplace
and (freezer burnt apple pie in hand) relax & unwind.

Yes. Be a blanket for once. Be the thing that sinks
without resistance. Then be human. Everyone wants

to go on a nature walk. These things are universal-ish.
Don’t question the shapes that surface in the cracked

puddles and ski-doo tracks. Follow the rabbit’s paw 
prints (or the raccoon, if you’re brave) and once you 

arrive: enjoy the view. Daybreak will happen at night,
but even with eyes closed, watch the sunrise. Watch it 

exhale small squirrels that spiral up conifers. Let go 
of the rest. And when you take a hot-chocolate leak 

in the renovated, pubic-hairless bathroom, read each 
word on the decorative mass-market poster nailed 

over the toilet. Don’t be surprised when your breath 
catches before the snow-packed weight and angelic  

chill of the final command to—take in each moment. 

Jérémi Doucet

Jérémi Doucet is an emerging fiction writer and poet. His writing has appeared in CV2, Gone Lawn, and several anthologies. He currently lives in Vancouver.