Rowing, At This Hour?!

21 August 2022

By Philip Kuepper

Why my mind
has gone to the boat at this hour,
only it knows.
4:20 A.M., black as licorice, out.
I can’t even imagine the wharf,
let alone anything else.
A lantern? Anyone?
Trying to throw light on
my mind’s reasoning,
can, at times, be a task
not worth the bother.
Why row in the dark?,
when in less than two hours
light will be everywhere.
But try and reason with my mind.
Once it decides, it does it.
If anything is black it is
water at night,
quite beautiful, in fact,
quite calming.
And the dipping of the oars in it,
the quiet slurping of them,
the sound is, well, the sound is
liquid. Not much of a reach there,
to get described what was needed.
Silk-like, isn’t it,
water at night,
silk, like dark chocolate,
when it melts on the tongue,
the oars stirring it
thick, rich, cream-like.
(If I keep this up,
I am going to have to
put down my pen, pull into street clothes,
and go buy a bar of chocolate.)
The word “bar” has just brought
Tennyson to mind.
Forgive me, Lord,
if my metaphor seems beneath you.
I cross myself, in hopes.
As for getting back to the boat
my mind insists on rowing,
I leave my mind to it.\
I, for one, need my sleep,
and row my way into dream.

(18 August 2022)

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