On Lakes & Mirrors


The oars dip and pull, dip and pull
and she thinks of Alice in the pool of tears
where drowning didn’t happen.


The surface of the flooded gravel pit
throws back green, sky blue, cloud white,
the dipped hull of her father’s boat.


She knows a lake is a mirror
that plays tricks on women, turns them
upside down, wipes out their faces.


Her bedroom mirror is a lake
that says in lipstick red
fairest of them all.

Biography: Before Susan Utting graduated from Reading University with a first in English, she worked briefly in The Careers Advisory Service, and then for many years in the Psychology Department. She subsequently taught poetry and creative writing at Reading and Oxford Universities for more than 17 years and now works freelance as workshop leader/mentor and poetry performer. Her fourth, most recent poetry collection, Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems is published by Two Rivers Press. www.susanutting.com