Poem: Raft


Written May 17, 2017


I don’t know who built the raft, it was big, heavy, unsinkable,
and parked by the bulrushes when unoccupied.

We stood on it wearing life-jackets and poked the boggy floor
of the shallows with a stick, steering past the dock and diving board
towards the bay’s middle.

If you stood in a corner the raft tilted that way into the lake.

A few of us were playing war, but after a while I joked I wanted to
desert and the others said fine.

I had left my life-jacket on the dock.

But I dove off and front-crawled towards the shore anyway
my head telling me to move my limbs.

Heavy water tired my arms and legs and filled my ears and I lost
my sense of the world above the surface.

I started to tread and opened my mouth. A small spoon of minerally
lake water went in it.

I swallowed thinking I couldn’t move any farther but once swimming
again I soon reached the dock ladder and climbed up it.

Later the raft was returned to the bulrushes and the sun disappeared
and I sat with tired limbs and hair smokey from the campfire
we all sat around.


By Wendy Stewart

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