What is Factored In

Photography© Jan Servin/Servin Design.

17 May 2020

By Philip Kuepper

At rest, afterwards,
her oars lay like hands in prayer,
grateful for a good race,
grateful for safe passage,
from start to finish.

She had read well the river.
She knew where it narrowed,
where sometimes silt,
and sand, would collect,
and cause her break stroke.

She had outmaneuvered
the river’s inconstant bed,
though at one point the sudden
cry of a crow, close-up, threw her
out of sync with here psyche.

Now, ashore, again,
she read the river in aftermath,
the figuring of it a calculus,
ever-changing, a determining
of area, of volume, of the whole
of the length she had rowed.

(13 April 2020)

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