Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slice Of Life #5: Glen Lake

This poem takes place at Glen Lake, Michigan.  I spent the first 30 summers of my life in Glen Arbor, a quaint town in Leelanau County, Michigan.  The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes are just a few miles away, as is Lake Michigan.  There are so many memories here, most of which include family and fun.  Waterskiing, beach parties, tennis, hiking, canoeing down The Crystal River were all part of my Glen Lake experience.  Our cabin is no longer part of our family, but the memories remain.

This poem is about the joy of Glen Lake and the special place it holds in my heart.

A typical view from a dock at Glen Lake

Glen Lake

I walk outside to the smell of morning,
Summer air floating beneath the tent of green.
A taste of pine, carried by the smooth breeze,
Touches the tip of my tongue.
The water, cool and clear, licks
The narrow grass-covered shore,
With the same sound of soft waves
That sent me to sleep the night before.

The wooden path under my feet leads me
Out to the water deep.
Up early, a child splashes and swims
By the dock.  I sit on wooden planks,
The distant hum of a motorboat
Drifts to my ears as it glides
Across the golden horizon.
Too far away to see the line
That pulls the skier
behind it, as she moves back and forth
Of the white froth in front of her.

The wooden boards bounce under me.
The steps increase with intensity as they near.
I'm fearful - certain - of what it means.
I concentrate on the beauty of a
Glen Lake Morning.
I feel a hand on my shoulder.  "It's time."
I start my reluctant retreat
back to the cabin, as the skier in the distance
Falls and skips across the blue.


  1. I have a catch in my throat reading your piece. I grew up in Elk Rapids, not far from Glen Arbor and spent many a summer swimming in Lake Michigan, Elk Lake, Torch Lake, all those clear blue waters of up north, where you can walk out to your neck and still see your feet. I live miles away from these waters now, but your piece brings me back, vivid and alive. Thank you!

    Jen at

  2. Thanks Jen! What a small world. This is my favorite place in the entire world. The crystal blue waters are breathtaking. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  3. Growing up on a farm in Indiana, my memories are quite different... except feeling intertwined with nature. That is universal. I think too many of today's kids lack those experiences, that connectedness to earth and sky...

    1. Yes, Chris, it seems like being inside is more of the norm. When I had been inside for too long, I remember my father always saying, "Go outside and do something productive!"

  4. I lived on a lake in Missouri for a long while until we moved to Colorado, and then had a primitive cabin in the mountains-such memories can "be" when we have that slow time in nature. Your poem touched me, I liked the final walk out to say goodbye.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Linda. There is nothing like spending time on a lake. I like how you said "Slow time in nature." It seemed like time was in slow motion when I was up there.

  5. I felt like I was there and have never been. Your descriptions were so vivid. Thanks for sharing this beautiful memory.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Amy. I hope everyone can experience being up there.

  6. ... the smooth breeze,
    touches the tip of my tongue ...
    tasting Spring slowly moving in
    from this spot atop the ice
    where winter arrived hours ago
    with a bottle of wine and stories to tell
    and refused to leave.

    - Kevin
    PS -- lifted a line to make something new. Thanks

  7. I grew up around nature, too...not a lake but we did have a small creek go through our property. When I moved to the city there was a big hole that could only be filled with trips to the lake nearby. Thanks for bringing back great memories. Jackie