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IR Online Poetry: “Lake Winnebago” by Hannah-Marie Nelson

I see boats with solid anchor roots
hovering awkward on swaying ripples
like feet tethered to graves of their own souls.

I see a drained woman
not watching a bright-eyed boy
who is watching the boats rock
as he walks towards the shore.  

I see people floating pressed against ground.
A little to the left, a little to the right.
And back again as if leaving were

So I’m sinking, swaying,
broken beneath boat bottoms
to see what you last saw
before false air betrayed your body.

I wonder what water-air feels like.
Did lake water overfilling his lungs
feel the same since he’s autistic?
Either way, drowning must feel so

Either way, she was supposed to be watching him.
Then he wouldn’t be dead.


Hannah-Marie Nelson is currently a sophomore at the University hannah-nelsonof Minnesota-Twin Cities who is majoring in English and minoring in creative writing. Writing poetry and fiction is her greatest passion, and she aspires to continue on to get her MFA in creative writing after graduation and become a creative writing professor and professional writer someday. She’s originally from Neenah, Wisconsin where her wonderful and supportive family lives. Her family and the amazing teachers and professors she’s had throughout her time as a student have helped her get as far as she is today in her writing journey which she greatly appreciates. She’s had poetry published in Dream Quest One, the Belleville Park Pages, and the Blue Heron Review and always appreciates publishing opportunities such as this one that give her the opportunity to share her work.