Sailing the Sea of Words

Dutch sculler in a “skiff”.

11 December 2022

By Philip Kuepper

About the yawl:
I like the sound of that word.
I like the feel of it in my mouth.
And it being my craft,
I sail it into the waters of playfulness,
using, as my sail, pronunciation,
so that yawl becomes “Y’all,”
an American southerner’s way
of pronouncing, “You all,”
this before I discovered “yawl”
most likely is derived from the Dutch “jol,”
Dutch for skiff, so that I, now,
have sailed from the southern U.S.
all the way to the Netherlands,
and in the process
traded in my yawl for a skiff.
Let me see, now, skiff:
How can I do a riff on skiff?

(6 December 2022)

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