Heather Treseler


A low fog lifts from the lake, catching

the bungalows on the opposite shore

dreaming like tree-houses. Mornings

here are so nearly the same, a breeze

scrolling to bright sun-wash, they’re

practically a brand of New Hampshire,

one featured in Classic New England

Vacations. Just yesterday, we thought

of boating. I enthused about canoes.

You proposed a powerboat with skis.


I forget your faith in the immediacy

of physical experience. After all, not

everything needs a poem to be felt

or remembered. Not everyone wears

irony like an anti-Girl Scout badge deep

into the woods as if it worked like DEET

on pant-legs, a postmodern perfume. Well,

I’m sorry I got hysterical when a mouse

appeared in the dishwasher, mus ex

machina, and that I attacked a breakfast


raisin with a flyswatter. So often, it seems

I miss or savage the point. In June, when

we took your kids to the amusement park

to celebrate their report cards, I rode all

seven roller-coasters to be a sport, albeit

one praying in dubious Latin to the patron

saint of chiropractors. I’ll admit that I was

fascinated by the “Ride Godzilla” operator’s

darkly inked tattoos, half-covered by the polo

shirt required in the park’s family atmosphere.


This morning, I’d like to keep the fog. Study

the shore rocks’ pockets for snails and storm

debris. If, as you said last night, you felt assured

of my happiness, your role in its unscheduled

maintenance, its slightly more than average

fortitude, we might make the ritual promises.

It would mean you’d often be in a speedboat,

chasing my canoe. And I’d ride a rollercoaster,

staring at sidelong tattoos. Any fog or flogged

mouse, any dreaming bungalow might do.




"Vacationary" first appeared in Waccamaw, No. 12, Fall 2013.