It is tough not to see what lies ahead. Later it is obvious. Seems everything good lies behind. My mother used to walk me down to the lake. She used to say a quick dip just before bed would cool you off for the night. This was in the summer, at the end of July when it really heats up. The sky was pure clear and blue. The mountains rose up out of the base of the lake. Often we would see snakes beside the high water, black and yellow, moving among the cigarette grass. I never felt stuck then. She was a little older and she wore a one-piece bathing suit. My older brother told me she used to wear a two-piece and he’d see his friends looking, squatting in the coal dust, beside the tracks. It pissed him off he said. Not because they were looking, but because he wasn’t allowed to be alone with her. He killed himself many years later. I miss him too. He never was made for this world. He used to beat the shit out of me. Instead of feeling bad I used to feel good. Like he was including me into his world. His world was drive-ins, pool halls and lots of girls. The latter I always had trouble with and still do. It is funny when you think about it. My mother I held in my arms while she died. I never was afraid until she finally slipped. My brother did it himself and made me think it doesn’t have to be so bad. The ospreys have flown. The lake is an inch of ice away.