A Celebration

Photo: London RC.
Photo: London RC.

14 March 2016

An aura of rowing
hung low over the bay,
the heats completed,
the race won.  Quiet
lay everywhere,
piers, boat sheds, clubhouses.
A breeze visited
out of curiosity,
and departed.

The bay sighed.
Gulls looked
for the departed rowers
who they thrilled racing.
They flew, disappointed,
in half-circles above
the boat sheds, flew as though calling
to the rowers, ‘Come out and play!’

The drowsy afternoon yawned light,
everywhere, light the bay
pulled slowly over itself,
like a sheet for napping beneath,
a sheet the gull appeared
to become sewn onto in flight.

Chimes made gentle suggestion to the quiet
as they hung on a cottage porch,
chimes that seemed to catch
the attention of one gull
that flew close to investigate,
banking away sharply at the last
instant, its attention drawn
by what only it knew.

Later, as twilight striped the sky,
the rowers gathered
on clubhouse porches,
opened champagne, toasted
one another, and drank in
the moment they were
experiencing.  The clinking
of their glasses caught
an egret by surprise.
His long-stemmed legs
propelled him into flight,
graceful as champagne.
And night came on,
the color of caviar.

Philip Kuepper
(23 February 2016)

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