>missing: one rowboat, one dawn

>1) Every canoe I’ve ever been in, I’ve tipped out of. This you should know before agreeing to canoe with me.

2) I have a Tug Boat Pilot’s License, here.

3) The license is in my childhood nickname.

4) On the subject of nicknames, and in a decade a couple galaxies far away now, I talked some friends into assuming bitchin babe names when we were in certain eastern Montana bars. We picked names that would seem likely to be tooled on the back of a leather belt. I was Judy with a Y. And my neighbor lady first picked to be Margaret, not understanding how that was not a name one would see tooled onto the back of a leather belt. Eventually she picked Wanda with an A.  We learned enough about shooting pool to know any shot was legal as long as one foot was touching the floor.

5) There is an ongoing list in one of my journals that details activities that are also legal as long as one foot is touching the floor. Rowboating is not one of them.

6) It took some years but came the day when I met a man who spoke of hope being a rowboat in the dawn. He meant (I think) that one shouldn’t wait for the dawn.

7) He might have meant that one should not wait for a rowboat.

8) I didn’t wait.

9) Eventually, because I was not looking for one, I came across a rowboat. We climbed aboard, my daughter and I. There were no oars. The water sloshed. She sprawled out on the floor of the boat and listened to the slosh and ripple. I didn’t. Not at the time. I had done so a few decades earlier, on a different lake, with a different man. In a different type of boat.

                   9a) She referred to the bottom of the boat as “the ground of the canoe”
                               9a sub1) My daughter is a writer but doesn’t know it yet.
                   9b) I also have a son who, had he been there, would paddle the boat by hand.
                               9bsub1) He would coax all of us to taste the water.

10) It was a canoe (getting back to the end of item 9 before the subparts got carried away), and instead of a lake, we were on a pond at just about midnight, with paddles. We had snuck onto a farmer’s stock pond. Eastern Montana, the middle of August, the height of heat.

11) Not every watercraft that comes with paddles is successful. I wanted to get wet, He wanted to stay dry.

12) See item # 1.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

5 responses to “>missing: one rowboat, one dawn

  1. >Sherry – I love every part of this…bitchen babes' names (Wanda with an a, as opposed to ?), the warning about you and specific water craft, that your son would have made you all taste the water. This feels so complete and full, charming.

  2. >Hi Sherry, Canoes, I'm pretty good with it. White water rafting- well- there's a whole story of my husband, son and I tipping out on the Nantahala River, luckily, before we got to a really dubious rapid. I'd love to hear more about your Tug Boat Pilot's License! (There have to be poems to go with that story!) I love what you say about your daughter being a writer, but she doesn't know it yet. I feel that way about my son.

  3. >OOps! Canoes, I'm pretty good with, is what I meant to say.

  4. >I love this post too, especially the names.My friend and I played a similar game. I was Tonya, she was Tammy. Or was I Tammy? No matter–they were interchangeable.We never thought of carving them into our belts.I saw a young woman in church with a belt onto which she'd magic markered "I heart Justin." Some day, I'll use that detail in a poem.

  5. >life is boring without subparts.

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