Poem: Why I Took the Picture

Amsterdam 3

Why I Took the Picture

I do not know why I like this picture.
It is simple. A rowboat on the canals of Amsterdam.
It is small. Not a noble thing, prosaic even,
on of hundreds along the brick-lined canals.
Its paint is faded and peeling.
There will be no great journeys in this boat,
just simple comings and goings,
a trip to the store perhaps, or to a job downstream.

As I snapped the photograph,
no one else gave the small craft a second glance.
It was one of hundreds, perhaps more they pass every day.
In a city traversed by bridges and boats
it is part of the background, no more,
and yet something made me stop and look at this one boat
more than the dozens tied up next to it,
made me raise my camera, frame a shot and capture it
to remember.

I have learned not to question the things I love,
their beauty, their draw;
not to question their song that draws me
like a child or a lover.
There is magic in that kind of love,
unexamined, unquestioned and I will not sully it
with too much self-examination.
Save that for the hard work of repairing the world’s damage.

I prefer to be a child. To believe in magic where there is beauty,
to believe in a God who wants my delight and yours
and litters our world with unexpected beauty,
to accept my proclivity to see beauty in the worn and broken,
in the small, to allow myself the luxury of delight
where others pass by.

And so I snapped the picture.
I stood a while and watched the wavelets of the canal
dance with the light,
bringing the moment with me, and with it, the small smile
of remembering.

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