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Reading at the Lake This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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A terrible smell,
Known to pit crews and mechanics around the world,
Fills our humble garage.

Tears of gasoline spit in an angry rage,
And a volcano of smoke erupts.
“Kill it,” my father motions with a wave.

A deafening silence hangs in the air
As we stare down our unbeatable foe,
Coughing and sputtering back at us.

Despite our best attempts,
He's a cantankerous old man
Who won't cut our grass.
by Mike Kern, Rexford, NY
Reading at the Lake
I went to read a book by the lake at 2:18 this afternoon,
because I'd lied about needing to be somewhere at 2:30,
and I needed a place to go. So I went.

I bent the front cover back, so no passersby could see
the uncircumcised man on the front,
because it was Yehuda Amichai, who knows lapsed Jewry
better than anyone but me and
all the other children of the Diaspora.

I was clumsy with the cover, because the wind was cold,
and my fingers were cold,
and the deserts from the pages did their jobs too well.

The other walkers would sometimes glance at me
lying on my front on the bench, my left leg crooked so
the spots where the cartilage is strange
don't throb and whine.
I looked back at them, sometimes,
from behind my backlit fringe, because I wanted to see
what they thought of a young girl reading a book
with a bent-back cover and her feet in the air,
and not have them see me.
Everything's a performance.

I won't remember the people I looked at tomorrow,
when my fingers have thawed out,
and I wonder if I should have attended services yesterday,
and the patch of mud behind my knee has rubbed off,
but maybe one of the people who looked at me will remember
a young girl, hiding the front of her book with her hand,
looking at them through a veil of hair.
And hey, I have this poem.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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MckayThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm:
Absolutely stunning. 5/5 
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