the lake, child?

he is peering at me, even I can see that, in this desolate evening.

they drained the lake, child, years ago.

why, it was a long while back.

your mother had not even dreamt of you, then.

I thank him. She had said,

be courteous, as you make your way.

So I snatch at words which will not convince him

and walk on, for she also said,

be courageous, if you lose your way.

but if they have drained the lake,

I have failed her.

bathwater, turned stale, and I will have failed

the only quest and request

she has made of me.