The Cautious Rower

3 April 2017

Each of us dips our oars
into different waters.
Each of us rows
our different way.

Where I row have rowed
Verlaine and Rimbaud,
Erasmus, Winckelmann,
Gide and Allegret,
Proust, Pater, Whitman,
among a host of others.

I meet the water
as it comes.
Smooth is my preference,
though I have learned
to cut the chop with my blades,
either that, or go under.

Rapids, afroth with roughness,
I have, so far, survived,
however narrow has been the way.
The shore? I am careful
where I put in. My scull
is a durable one. Yet what
lies hidden just below the waterline
oft has doom incised on it.

Philip Kuepper
(22 March 2017)

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