Burn Lake

By Carrie Fountain Carrie Fountain

For Burn Construction Company

When you were building the i-10 bypass,
one of   your dozers, moving earth
at the center of a great pit,
slipped its thick blade beneath
the water table, slicing into the earth’s
wet palm, and the silt moistened
beneath the huge thing’s tires, and the crew
was sent home for the day.
Next morning, water filled the pit.
Nothing anyone could do to stop it coming.
It was a revelation: kidney-shaped, deep
green, there between the interstate
and the sewage treatment plant.
When nothing else worked, you called it
a lake and opened it to the public.
And we were the public.

NOTES: This poem originally appeared in "Poetry Not Written for Children that Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy," by Lemony Snicket.

“Burn Lake” is copyright © 2010 by Carrie Fountain and used by permission of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (usa) llc.

Source: Poetry (September 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2013
 Carrie  Fountain


Born and raised in Mesilla, New Mexico, poet Carrie Fountain earned a BA at New Mexico State University and an MFA at the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.
Fountain’s poems often use narrative to explore the tug of the unseen on the visible fabric of our days. In a 2010 interview with Brian Brodeur for his blog How A Poem Happens, Fountain stated, “To me, whether a poem is factual or . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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