The Courses, Rowed

12 November 2017

Oar rack, gun rack,
there are infinite
courses to row,
infinite equipment to row us.
There are bodies
of water receptive to being
rowed.  I am thinking
of the waters of baptism, and of the sea
of brilliant Indian
paintbrush blowing
across Texas.  I am thinking
of choices made, oar, or gun.
(Could wordplay have intervened,
in Texas, that morning,
a suggestion, instead to rifle
through one’s file of grievances,
and chart a course, different,
from the one taken?)
Each act committed
is a language being spoken.
The rower speaks with oars,
to which the water speaks in turn.
Guns speak only in monologue,
one way, no compromise.
When all that is present is the absence
of dialogue, it is like
two walls standing mute,
face to face.

Philip Kuepper
(10 November 2017)

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