By Philip Kuepper
A mat of rushes wove cover
over the flatboat
tucked snugly in the cove.
A dove stood motionless at the bow,
its soft grey body blending
into the rushes, causing it
The plop of a fish
caused ripple the water
that settled as soon as it rippled,
a ripple that broke
against the flatboat, that did not move.
A water bug rode the back of the ripple,
black bug on black water.
Lily pads of sunlight floated on the water
where the overarcing branches of the river birch
parted, its bark peeled
by the bite of its nature.
Swamp iris starred the air smoky purple.
A grackle cut the quiet with its sharp song.
The dove, its head pumping forward,
lifted to flight with singing wings,
the tips of its feathers flashing white
as it flew through where the sunlight
fell through the birch’s parted branches.
The flatboat moved imperceptibly
at the dove’s lift-off,
caused by the approach
of two youths carrying sacks of lunch,
who cleared away the mat of rushes
off the boat, boarded it,
and poled slowly out of the cove,
onto the waiting river.
(12 April 2019)