Poem: Not Quite Adrift

adrift

Not Quite Adrift

Cut adrift, the dinghy sits on the edge of the shore,
on side stove in from the storm and stones.
broken, still redeemable,
at least for a time.

You climb down, and grasp its side
and lift.
It is almost too much for your old muscles.
They curse at you for not surrendering
and finally, they lift the boat up and over
and with what strength is left,
you drag it over the grey rocks to the high shore,
above the tide line, safe from all but the worst of storms,

You can see the damage now.
It is wounded, no more,
but lost.
There is no telling if it drifted far,
or from a few yards out in the cove,
whether this journey of brokenness was long,
or a short moment caught up in the fury
of last night’s storm.

Your hand slides across the gash of torn wood.
You see the ribs, still firm and without rot.
You could fix this, you think.
With time and work and the recollections
of a life spent sailing,
you know what must be done to make it whole again.

But you are a visitor here,
and this small craft is not your own,
to take it, even in a mission of resurrection,
would be thievery,
and while your list of sins is long,
thievery is not among them.

And so you leave it on the shore,
still broken, yet safe
from all but storms or neglect,
praying as you walk away,
that it found, someday soon
by the one who loved it once.

About this poem

It has nothing to do with boats, and everything to do with people. But it COULD be about boats, if you want.

I’m easy that way.

Tom

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