A tribute to the lake of Esch sur Sure


Esch sur sure

I rarely write or read poems, usually over a glass of wine or a cigarette, and both happen quite rarely. That night they must have happened simultaneously, because I still wonder if it is me who wrote it.

It has to be mentioned that the lake of Esch sur Sure is our main source of drinking water in Luxembourg and a great source of natural beauty. The water is clear. It’s a delight to swim there on the rare days when it’s not too cold. Unfortunately there were a few contaminations in the last years.
One summer day, I saw a big greenish oily stain spreading on the lake and it remained in my memory as an uncomfortable feeling: a bad premonition, the image of destructive actions, and more often non-actions, we inflict on both nature, our source of life and personal relationships, our sources of happiness.
I wrote this poem during a cold night on my balcony as a souvenir of summer.
 The lake
Grey-blue reflections
were troubling the water surface.
The lake was just the excuse
for a lonely encounter with the past.
I wished I were in a cooler place
but I was where I was supposed to be,
in the heat of the last day
of the summer when I left you behind.
It was a prime day
as no other day of the year
was as hot as that one.
The sun was spreading over the rippled surface
and I, and you, and all the world
could only think about heat.
There was a forest behind,
dark and cool and it made us all afraid.
Laying on the shore of the lake,
I touched you and you looked away.
A young girl in a dotted red swimsuit
was floating on her back
making angel water wings with her arms
and from the river, a dark oily stain
spread on the water
until it reached her and the shore
and I knew that afternoon
that nothing would ever be the same.
The lake was just the excuse
The stain was the ache of the lake
And we were all just dots
On a young girl’s swimsuit
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