Not once had I been canoeing before. My first time out was an eight mile trip downriver, with a thirty-minute pause on an island to do some writing. There were some bumps along the way, getting caught on rocks and currents—not to mention my friend and I weren’t strong enough to fight back against the wind. But what came out of my pen is the beginning of me finding my poetic voice. (Between you and me, it’s going pretty well).
Enjoy this series of (untitled and unedited) poems.
Downriver, beaten and tangled in rocks
and branches, is a little island
where we stopped to rest.
But I miss you.
The swell of the breeze and the rush
of the current reminds me
of the way you brush my hair
from my face, the light graze
of your lips on my cheek,
and the soft touch of your fingers
against the base of my neck.
And I miss you.
I want to write—not stories or poems or factual essays, but you.
I want to write your gentle eyes
and curled lips; your tall stature
and rock-sized hands. I want to write
the way your voice flows through my ears
and settles into my mind,
and the way you chuckle and giggle
at the small noises that come
from my body.
I want to write you into existence,
for when I’m sitting alone
in the middle of the current, looking
at the way the hills caress the sky
and open themselves up
to the heavens,
I want to share it with you.
I want my words
to form a physical embodiment
I can hold
while soaking in the beauty.
They ask who I love and my mind
jumps to you. To all the moments
we held each other close, soaking in souls
and letting ourselves
become one. To all the days
we spent by rushing water
and salty oceans, wet hugs and long
kisses. Sorrowful goodbyes
peek through and I remember
the tear-filled phone calls
and physical heartache.
The rolling hills of Vermont
stretch far into the core of my being
and even they
remind me of you. Of sunsets
on the lake and kisses
on the hill.
I can’t sit on this river
without remembering the gorge.
You’re so deeply engrained
into my soul
that it’s almost as if
you were always here.
And I want you home.
I need to know you, feel you, hold you
between my palms
and tell you that there’s nothing
better out there for me
than what I have now.
You’re the light that beats and pierces
my darkness, the sensibility that grounds me
during my longest days, and I feel
like I’ve known you
longer than this river
has carved through the hills.