Father, Child, Water


by Gary Dop


I lift your body to the boat
before you drown or choke or slip too far


beneath.  I didn’t think—just jumped, just did
what I did like the physics


that flung you in.  My hands clutch under
year-old arms, between your life


jacket and your bobbing frame, pushing you,
like a fountain cherub, up and out.


I’m fooled by the warmth pulsing from
the gash on my thigh, sliced wide and clean


by an errant screw on the stern.
No pain.  My legs kick out blood below.


My arms strain
against our deaths to hold you up


as I lift you, crying, reaching, to the boat.


poem © by Gary Dop

music © Andrew Bird


Boys on the Ferry to Orcas

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