Refining the Oar

Refining the Oar

Layers of silver and gray,
that is what the rower saw
as he stood on the porch
looking east at the morning
light begin to rise
and deepen,

The gray sky,
the silver ocean,
The gray-white snow
in skewed folds on the ground,
like cuts of cloth dropped
on the floor of the workroom
of the world.

The oars behind him,
propped against a wall of the porch,
stood in need
of repair
before they could cause
the water speak come spring,
before the edges of their blades
could dip into and stir
the river to speak
rowing.

An additional layer of gray
could not be denied,
the gray ice
that clotted areas of the river;
sky, ocean, snow, ice,
each of which was,
none of which that could not be.
For they were.  The rower
could not be other, either,

Standing where he stood
on he porch at that moment,
idenifying then contemplating
the layer of gray
spread before him
in need of being
refined,
before they could cause
the water speak.

Philip Kuepper
(9 March, 2013)

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