Travel notes

The Pond

by Ariana Nadia Nash

We lived on a pond that year. We drove fourteen miles to get our groceries, past the town of Mountain. We bought our liquor from Ned in a purple trailer. In the winter the lake froze over and we skated. In the summer we rowed out into the middle of the lake and lay in the boat and stared at the sky.

We baked our own bread that year. When we wanted a little noise and the illusion of other people, we went to Kitty’s bar. We drove an hour sometimes to get books from the library; we didn’t have a TV. For a week we lost power, and little was different, except the candles, and eating ten pounds of meat from the freezer in under a week. The seventh day we ate only bread and honey.

We were caretakers that year. The cabin was ours for keeping up the garden, which gave us tomatoes, pumpkins, apples, plums. We worked only when we needed money, which was rarely. We did odd jobs, painted houses, shovelled snow, babysat once and never did it again. Even in winter when the garden died back, time grew full around us, ours to dig out of the earth.

We learned loneliness that year. We didn’t know it at the time, but we prepared to live without each other. We sometimes spoke rarely, listened to our silences. We watched the sunrise in the morning, the trees at the horizon catch fire, the sun impossibly large, and the sunset in the evening, the sky bruising purple-pink. We lived in the steadiness of that rhythm and forgot ourselves. Like the rhythm of water as it gently rocks you to sleep.

About the author

Ariana Nadia Nash very much enjoys exploring the earth but would always be happier swimming. She has lived in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Hawaii in the last ten years and plans to live next year in New Mexico. She has travelled to over twenty countries and has never in her life gone more than six months without flying. Read Instructions for Preparing Your Skin, which won the 2011 Philip Levine Prize in Poetry.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

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Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok