Friday, November 29, 2013

Paper Boats on River Time

The moon was big and yellow and cheesy but beautiful
Over the silhouettes of pines rustling in the breeze
Supper had begun at four with carrot soup and croutons and parsley
And had meandered into a tub of mashed potatoes and the tryptophan
At seven we wiped the wiped cream off our lips on our sleeves
Our lucky selves drunk on the camaraderie of family and friends
We'd watched The Oz on the VCR already
We weren't about to watch it again on TV
We sneaked off instead onto the deck to get some fresh air we said
My cousin and I, and out there the night was young  as we
It was all of seven or nine, or eight if you insisted upon equality
For you see, I was seven, my cousin was nine
And we shared everything equally
If we chanced upon a stash of 15 jellybeans
We took seven each and bit the eighth into halves
If we had 27 marbles between us we threw away the 14th
But I digress
We were suffering that day from a bad case of cabin fever as it had rained five days in a row
The hurricane had swallowed up half the holiday week
But it had left us with a gushing creek at the edge of the yard
Two or maybe even three feet across a mini Mississippi to my little Colossus
And as all flowing rivulets inspire the human kind to build vessels for to carry forth our dreams
This one sent us hurtling back into the house for a sheaf of papers
With which to build some paper boats to float on the stream slick with moonlight
"Be careful," said my older cousin, ever watchful of the younger me
I think now that it matters so much that we remain careful in everything we do
I can hardly believe we pay homage to those ships that came over vast waterways
Bearing guns and germs and steel and the will to kill the innocent with them all
We cannot reduce that horror to the annual worshipping of the Black Friday
How do we honor those who suffer still from the wounds of yesterday?            

                                                                                                                          ~ Sonali

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