Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore

(A Birthday Tribute)

3 January 2021

By Philip Kuepper

It was not that he had a desire to.
He would have been thrilled
to row more years,
and I with him.
There were square miles more
water to row,
the waters of life,
life left to live,
as Master Printer, at Mystic Seaport,
as a Montessori teacher, at St. Mark’s Church,
as my husband in our marriage
in its forty-eighth year,
as a man of self-deprecating humor
to his host of friends.  All this
still to row,
to man his oars with hands and heart,
oars my hands and heart
helped row through the chop
our last two years.

Too soon the shore
of death rose, and laid
its scowl across the horizon,
covered by the shroud of the sky.

Too soon the rowing,
our hearts were helpless to stay.

(21 December 2020 Winter Solstice)

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