Sebastian Santiago

At Buckhorn Lake

The Deer Park by Carl Frederik Aagaard

There was the day at Buckhorn Lake when
we were still just children, that day when
my sister, the toddler, ran off the edge of
the dock, that day when only I was around.

I plunged in after her, into the patch of
seaweeds where she had sank.

And, as silt, thick as judgment, clouded the
water, and the weeds, with their ceaseless
weave, wrapped around me, I fought to
find her beneath the surface.

Then, as the shore itself seemed to drift
away, my hand reached down like a beam
of light; I felt her fingers, her little fingers,
gripping mine from below—

We fought our way ashore then drudged
through knee deep Michigan muck, sucking
us in with each step, clutching at each leg,
as if death itself, forever the sore loser,
refused to let go.


About the writer:
Sebastian Santiago is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, but grew up just outside of Detroit, Michigan. He attained his English degree from Central Michigan University. Sebastian has work featured or forthcoming in The Emerson Review, Poetry South, Up North Lit, Brain Mill Press, and Rigorous, among others.

Image: The Deer Park by Carl Frederik Aagaard (1833-1895). Oil on canvas. 53 x 82 cm. 1888. Public domain.