Staying Out

Staying Out

Outside Malmö,
In October countryside,
The lake lies resplendent
Glittering with light.
Seeing it, he could not
But row, feel the body
Of the shell between himself
And the water.  He felt the water
Brush the bottom of his shell,
Felt the water through his oars.
He let the lake pull him
Away from shore, away
From the meadowy shore.
He plowed the lake with his oars,
His harvest the act,
The pure act of rowing.
He would not go back,
Not yet.  From where he rowed
He would read the wooded hills.
He would watch wheel the hawk
Just above the pine, then wheel
His shell round and row
The lake in the opposite direction.
He would read the text of light
On the parchment sky.  When the lake
Began to turn ink, he would turn
Toward shore.  But not until then,
Not until then.

Philip Kuepper
(October 2012)

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