Yesterday, before the three of us left Canada for home, my grandparents took us out on a long boat ride. It was sunny and beautiful, we passed islands and bays which are parts of my earliest memories. It was wonderful visiting the river again, and I was even able to drive for a bit. As we were going my grandfather said, “You’ll have to write a poem about the river today, about the sun and the boat ride and the islands.” (Or something along those lines) Well, I didn’t get to it yesterday, but I figured I owed it to him, so this is for you, Grandpa!
St. Lawrence Love Affair
When I take the helm,
clean and smooth
and sliding under my cool palms,
the boat beneath me
My family’s voices
grow muffled, then silent,
and it’s only me and the river.
And I can feel the pulse
of this miles-wide vein,
an artery of life which is somehow connected
to the world’s wide-open heart,
yet still alone and strong and proud.
sent from Heaven to be my other half,
Lawrence and I.
And he smells like sunlight and of mossy monoliths of stone
when I leap into his embrace of
weathered wood and bulrush fields,
and together we chase the cormorants
and dive with the loons,
traverse Needle’s Eye
and number the Thousand Islands.
He hides gold doubloons for me
in Molly’s Gut,
hums against my toes
with a chill that thrums up the delicate bones of my foot.
When I at last depart
his aroma stays tangled in my hair,
to come back…
(c) 2011 Marie KR