On the first day we’re free to be together, on a beach that won’t be sand anytime soon, I’m sifting weathered bits of glass from the scree. A shadow beside me, you pick at pebbles. We hunker over everything together. A BLAST from the last lift bridge presses air around each leaf on Whiskey Island. Your eyes turn into Adam’s at his first sight of Creation- and you’ve heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden. I bear you toward it swift as His Breath. We almost miss the freighter, but I hoist you up and we crest the last hill to watch a tug struggle to true the Calumet’s bow. At this moment you first learn what Boats Are. At last her prop begins to churn and as she greets the wide lake, you stretch after her carried on my shoulders to the mouth of the Cuyahoga.
This poem has been simmering for nearly a year now, and the day that inspired it will always be special to me. I was very concerned that it not be mawkish or cliché. I’m still not convinced I made it work, and I think it could still use some polish, especially clarification of subjects & objects. Since it has been simmering so long, I figure I’d better publish it before I never publish it. Thanks to Steve Goldberg & Milenko Budimir for the workshop help.