The River Waiting

Mystic River in snow. Photo: Ingrid Buckhorn.
Mystic River in snow. Photo: Ingrid Buckhorn.

27 February 2016

The grayscape of winter,
backlit by frosted light,
drapes the air.  Everywhere
is saturated with last night’s
rain. A skiff sits,
disconsolate, on the river,
waiting to be boarded,
past which a young man walks
on his way to somewhere else.

I imagine him into
a Homer painting
to make happy the skiff
that wants to feel the power
of the young man rowing it.

To sit idle is not what
the skiff is about.
There is the groaning to life,
and the shrugging pull
of oars on water. There is
the smile on the face of the river
beneath the skiff’s hull.
There are fish to be caught,
even in winter water,

the silver of them arcing
into the skiff’s hold,
food for later
in the day, a day that is
gradually brightening as I imagine
the skiff’s outing,
the grayscape being erased
by so handsome an insistent sun.

Philip Kuepper
(31 December 2015)

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