This week I revisit the poem that rebooted my writing after a period of prolonged absence following the passing of my father. My brother sent me a writing challenge from a friend of his: write a love poem to your boat for valentine’s day. I wrote this:
Come and nestle into the nook you chose
Along my gunwale. Rest. I wrap my teak
Arms around you to fend off night. Trace your
Legend between stars, twinkling as they do.
Today, you sacrificed ashes of life
To the Father tormenting your journey
Home. The dust will not heal your wounds or His,
But appeasement will blind him long enough –
His people invite you to the Phaeacian
Feast to hear the substance of your toils.
They lift you up on deck of their swift ship
Sail you home to the Faithful and Longing.
The planks of my own arms, softened by tears:
A bee sting, a disturbed nest on the path
Where you, child, excavated tiny stones
The earliest memory of journey
Are strong tonight – we have no place to be.
Our journey awaits the rose-red fingers
Of Dawn to wrap around your heart again
Teasing tiny sparks from dark, inspiring
Another stop, another mile of miles
To go before you sleep again in this
Nook of my gunwale where I will wrap
You, once again, safe in my soft teak arms.