paper boat

my son leans into the froth of the bank where

the water meets the grass where

the earth met its match —

Deft dangle of the paper ship as

it slips onto the plodding surface and

merrily complies to the rules of its tension –

the consternation of that legible face written with

eagerness and unbattened itching of hope for

the boat to go —

But then it goes

and the mouth cheers but the heart chugs

after like a tow boat, too slow to

do anything but let the wish swim

with the creek to the other side

of knowing, where the lurking curve of the earth

hides Before and After from showing up despite

the insistence of the dogged grimace that is

defining my son’s first instance of the bittersweet

kind of grief that floats through us and all of our

preciousness and equal possessiveness —


we tried and tried to yank the masts

of the soggy flotilla that passes through

and through and through


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