Standing in Lake Ontario

setting the pace for the day as she opens her eyes
she ran so far last night
setting the pace for the day as she opens her eyes
she smells the lake on her skin     
and she doesn't remember why she decided to swim
but she's suddenly glad that she went in

up to her waist in the lake
filling her hands with the water
filling her eyes with the sky
and it wasn't for anyone's sake
she wasn't anyone's daughter
lover sister or friend    
she was the girl in the water
going off the deep end

she tries to hold on to the night as it trickles away
rigor mortis holds her in place
she tries to hold on to the calm as her dreams dissipate
she stares at the ceiling grinding her teeth
the sun slicing into the room takes the last of her sleep
the morning is broken... and so is she

but up to her waist in the lake
all that she felt was freedom
breathless and warm in the night
never believing in fate
being beholden to no one
not bothering with goodbyes
she planted her feet on the rocks 
and fell into a dive

he followed her and brought her home
and she had seaweed in her hair
and he didn't care

up to her waist in the lake
coasting on distant thunder
riding a fading high
no one knew quite what to make of her
standing alone in the harbour
on a grey evening in july
as she planted her feet on the rocks
and fell into a dive


Hey, guess what? When you are in your thirties, almost everything you did in your twenties seems really, really dumb! Hoooraaaaay!!! Just kidding, I like so many songs I wrote when I was in my twenties. "We Were Lions" is a total classic. But this song is a bit cringey for me to look back on. I wrote it during an emotionally turbulent time when I was starting to generate the romance feelings for the guy I ended up marrying. See, once upon a time, back when I was studying music at Queen's, Julien and I were friends. We met through mutual friends at school and eventually settled into a very cozy group of friends and it was all quite platonic and normal. Then things began to destabilize. Our mutual friends started telling me that Julien like liked me (!!!) and I felt horrible about it. I didn't k 

© 2016 by Zoë Robertson. Photography by Robert Zbikowski and Vincent Fugere. Proudly created with

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