KR OnlinePoetry

Posthumous Plumly

This would’ve been late ’40s, early ’50s maybe, when
the boy and his father took a fishing trip

to Canada—where at nine or ten, in a little johnboat
tethered to a hundred-foot-long rope,

he was allowed to drift out on the evening lake alone:
the flaking wood against his back still warm

as the wave lap and the calling loons,
pink streaks of cloud and the first faint sliver of a moon

swelled in him—immense and ancient
and sublime, though half a life would pass

before he even tried to name that feeling,
which always began and ended like a dream:

the wet rope creaking, solid as an oar
that slowly, hand-over-hand, ferried him ashore.