Sara Dovre Wudali

Lake Effect

The smell at Lake Mary mixes sea weed and walleye and Coppertone coconut. My husband, a transplant from India, ambles out to the end of the resort dock.


What a life he’s chosen. He was a prince—his food mashed into bite-sized balls, perfect ratios of rice and rasam. Neighbors called his parents Doctor-Madam and Sir, bringing them gifts for help with a fever.


But in Minnesota lake country, all the kids stop playing, and the parents inch closer to their children. It always takes two or three days before they’ll dare meet his eyes, see his nodded greeting. Because by landing in Minnesota, he became brown. And so, in the land of 10,000 lakes, he must steel himself before walking into Fleet Farm, knowing he will scare the 16-year-old farm boy clerk by asking the dangerous question: “How do I get a fishing license?”



Sara Dovre Wudali (@saradovrewudali) is a writer and editor from St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work has been previously published in Creative Nonfiction and Madras Mag and is forthcoming as part of a public art project in Mankato, Minnesota. She eats her lefse with butter and brown sugar the way God intended it, not with white sugar, which is the way of infidels.

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