By Hannah Duncan
Silver Lake is more of a shallow pond, rippling at the surface like folds in a paper fan. Feet pound against the vinyl boards, the only fence between frigid water and worn-out Birkenstocks. The marshes below hold their breath as tackle boxes are propped against the banister. Beginner hands sling the fishing line into the pond—into water so clear I can see the teenage Rainbow Trout shimmy up to the bait and determine their fate.
We meander down to a dock area with our soles kicking up dirt. The ducks murmur for attention when we pull out a picnic. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a few apples, a bag of Cheetos. A couple of kids ask to feed the ducks with us, tossing out chunks of bread that were never meant for the birds.
But next are the Cheetos. Then the Cheetos bag.
The marsh isn’t green anymore, but white and clear and silver. The aluminum cans lap at the shore, algae and mud caked onto a CO E can. Fishing line dangles from the limb of a fir; it waves in the wind, strangles a bird’s nest. The squirrels cozy-in to crevices cluttered with bottle caps and plastic bags. Sometimes, when the sun is low and leveled just right, the pond sparkles in silver flashes. Now, the silver-lining is at the bottom of the lake in a heap of aluminum Cheetos bags.