The radiant Gulf sun rises
from behind ancient mangroves
and egrets snatch prey with lightning beaks
as I push the canoe into brown waters.
A back country trip to resurrect a time,
when muscles readily worked,
becomes a reflection of age.
A trip, so effortlessly designed,
now painfully unfolds.
Fighting the incoming tide
The canoe moves imperceptibly.
While arms swell and muscles tire,
porpoises slide by, impervious to the struggle.
Later, on a shifting sand bar
I watch the tidal movement take fish and delusions
deep into the welcoming Gulf,
leaving me with a grudging acceptance
of who I have become.
Mud flats once holding bragging fish
now become a clinging ooze,
locking weary feet that can go no deeper,
releasing only when shoreward bound.
At slack tide I sit on broken shells
drinking French-pressed Starbucks.
A rod at my side with flies too frayed to fish.
I look into the reflective waters,
still calm, still timeless.
Days later, returning with the incoming tide,
the canoe glides on calm waters,
towards a protected shore.
Behind the mangroves structures reappear
and I start planning the next trip.
copyright 2002 Stan Goldberg, stangoldbergwriter.com
This article can be reproduced and distributed without charge for any non-commercial project if the source is provided.