Rowing in Parallel

ducks-duckling10 April 2016

A puddle of little ducks,
clustered in the rushes,
bobbed to and fro
on the wake from the boat
rowed past, south,
under the bridge,
and out of sight.

The water settled.  Still,
the ducklings hesitated until
the presence of their mother
pulled them behind her,
and out toward the center
of the, by then, placid river,

their little feet oaring them,
their bodies little boats,
their progress smoother than the rower’s
whose wake had, earlier,
set them bobbing to and fro,
the rower who had had to learn
what the ducklings had been born with.

Everywhere, nature humbles one,
the innate perfection of nature
one tries to imitate,
the sweet, swift, smooth
perfection of motion all around us
we exist just outside of.

Exhaling, inhaling,
breath after heaving breath,
the rower, returning,
drenched with exhaustion,
muscles flexed to bursting
with effort.

The ducklings?
They hadn’t even
broken a sweat.

Philip Kuepper
(20 March 2016)

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