My Dad’s Canoe

Canoe, 4″ x 5″, linocut & watercolor

Shadowed land recedes. Oars undulate water, cadence of myriad droplets shift the expanse. How far? Where do the ripples cease in this expanse where we are the only catalyst? Wordless we settle the oars at our sides, lean back. All is still. Water tranquil as glass. Thick early morning clouds lean low like a lover just before a kiss. We hover in the silky gray space between water and sky, suspended in wonder.

I remember the turbulence of yesterday. Frenzied wind taunts water depths. Our little boat pitches wildly. Rising and falling like an inconsequential twig on a swollen river. Our voices small, swallowed by raging hostility of lake and storm. I am not afraid. We beach the boat. Relief floods his face. Each of us shoulders an end. We portage it through the forest thicket. Cackling campfire chases away lingering damp chill. Sentinel trees witness our laughter, whisper to the fading tempest that all is well in the world.

Yesterday’s squall or today’s serenity, I float in simple trust. With him, I am always safe.

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