Rowing the Waters of Democracy

1 November 2020

By Philip Kuepper

A butter yellow rowboat
lay next a cobalt blue one,
anchoring the autumn
scene of scarlet and gold
taking flights in falls
of leaves, everywhichway.

The bones of the trees creak
when winds move the branches,
bones a century or older,
bones having been knit
when raged the Civil War,
some bones as old
as the war for independence.

This is, afterall,
New England, rebellious offspring
of the staid country that parented it,
offspring grown old,
yet never shedding its tendency
to rebel, offspring, the genetics of which
are a mix of cultures
that tend to clash.

We were born rebellious.
We live in the heat
of opinions often in disagreement.
We see ourselves a rose,
but deny our thorns, that, then, betray us.
In money we trust,
our faith, materialism,
though we are quick to profess God.
We are a complex
personality.  We know the path
is peace.  Yet it is
a path we veer off, often.

Scarlet and gold swirl
round the butter yellow,
round the cobalt blue
rowboats,
one, a measure of day,
the other, of night,
each rowed after the other,
day in, night out,
without interruption,
however rebellious the waters.

It is we who row them.
It is for us to keep them
from capsizing.

(15 October 2020)

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