Thursday, July 31, 2008

the crossing (Genesis 32:22-31

laughing and chatting,
piped aboard by
flutes of champagne,
the crowd pours onto
the chartered liner
for the crossing,
tables groaning with
the finest food;
nine-piece band
tuning up for the dancing;
the captain waiting,
tanned, smiling, nodding,
promising a gentle crossing;

down the beach,
i clamber
into the rickety rowboat,
paint faded into a dull gray,
water sloshing in the bottom,
the seat stained and creaky,
the shipshape shaky;

you hand me
the nicked and cracked oars,
and noticing the askance
on my face, whisper,
'look, this way
you get to know the water,
its ebb and flow,
the tides that can
rip out your heart,
the rocks lurking beneath
the smooth glass,
the way the surface can
change in an instant;'

pushing me out into the water,
you continue,

'it's harder, i know . . .
i've done it myself.'

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

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