The Calm Lake by Mayeni Kpenge

The Calm Lake by Mayeni Kpenge

Carolyn Barney

Mayeni Kpenge, a student in Lynn Hodgson’s creative writing class, wrote a piece called “The Calm Lake”. It’s based on the fact that people tend to wear emotional masks of confidence and bravado in order to conceal the insecurities and guilt we all have. 

The poem is a metaphorical revelation of Mrs. Deloitte, a character in the story. Like many of us, she tries to suppress her flaws. But no matter how hard we all try, they never go away. 

“Often we learn how to accept our imperfections and work with them, as they make us who we are. It is a lifelong journey and it is uncomfortable at first because we have to be honest with ourselves and cannot hide behind the lies we are told.” Mayeni says. 

In the end, The Calm Lake is a metaphor that paints the lake as a mirror. You go out too far, you get lost. 

What is your interpretation of this poem..?


“The Calm Lake” by Mayeni Kpenge

The calm lake is a mirror.

The calm lake is still as it glazes over with ice.

The sunlight ricochets off the calm lake and scampers to all the people in the neighborhood,

Enticing them to the calm lake to revere in its majesty.

“Look Mommy! We can skate on the ice,” screams Sally Mae with delight.

So Sally Mae and Mrs. Deloitte rush to the lake along with the rest of the neighborhood,

The calm lake calling their name in a way no one can comprehend.

When they arrive, Sally Mae is a cheetah, the first of the children to put on her ice skates.

She glides onto the center of the ice.

“Look at me Mommy!”

Mrs. Deloitte stands at the edge of the calm lake.

“Very nice, Sally Mae. Keep it up,” she delights.

As she observes Sally Mae, Mrs. Deloitte can’t help but glance down, to inspect her own reflection.