The Reason in the Rhyme

Illustration by William Wallace Denslow. Public domain. Wikipedia

29 January 2023

By Philip Kuepper

The sea lay implacable at dusk.
It muttered against the rocks.
A rower had just hauled his shell ashore.
Ducks floated impervious
to all, other than
their state of floating.
A dog passed behind me leading a man,
as I stood at the sea wall, watching
ducks, dog, man, sea, rower.
I was pi
in the circumference of the space
where I stood.
The answer was that one
never arrives at an answer.
Dusk, ducks, dog, man, sea, rower
kept dividing in motion.
Dog and man passed beyond
my visible sight,
though my mind’s eye continued
to focus on them.
The ducks continued to float in place
on the moving sea.
Dusk dimmed by increments
until it turned dark.
The rower had vanished.
I kept watch.
Focused, I felt anchored.
Dark, now, I could only assume
anything. The ducks I assumed
into nests woven among the reeds,
nests the implacable sea rocked,
incessantly, rhythmically,
like a cradle. I waited
for the moon rise to make light
of darkness, a stand-up comic moon
making jokes about the darkness,
jokes that draw the kind of laughter
that sounds touched by fear.
I laughed at that.
I thought about the dog
that had led the man past
behind me, the thought of the dog
causing me think of the little dog
that laughs in the nursery rhyme,
when the cow jumps over the passive moon.

(21 January 2023)

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