The Rapture Water

5 February 2022

By Philip Kuepper

They stood, young strapping men,
in the cream of morning.
Still unfocused, they rose
out of the sleep, of their being only partly awake,
to the light quietly breaking east.

Feeling the light breaking
is what woke them
to the work at hand,
manning the shell,
grabbing hold the oars.

The only sound was the winching
of the oarlocks when the oars
were lifted to act, that
and the lazy slurping
of the waves lapping the shell.

Each lapping woke each rower
to himself, until he felt
the waking waken in each of the others.
Then they became
a crew.

Then they became one motion.
They became like a perfectly shaped piston
that set the shell
forward onto the water.
They slipped quietly into rapture.

(22 October 2021)

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