Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Year to the Day

My Father Rows Away to Peace, encaustic, 8" x 10"

First Lesson

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man's float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

Philip Booth

(Thank you, Angela, for giving this poem to me after my father died last year. Yes, the sea is holding me, even with the currents thrashing so.)