Poetry Friday is hosted by Diane @ Random Noodling
I read this poem on The Writer’s Almanac the other day, and it has stayed with me. Perhaps it’s because as I get older I find that I experience and value time differently. Perhaps it’s because my children are grown and are finding their place in the world outside our home and family life, and I feel their absence. Perhaps it’s because I seem to have finally learned the trick of how “to leave well enough alone”, after a fairly long life of not knowing how to.
At any rate, it’s a beautiful poem for this Poetry Friday:
My daughter and I paddle red kayaks
across the lake. Pulling hard,
we slip easily through the water.
Far from either shore, it hits me
that my daughter is a young woman
and suddenly everything is a metaphor
for how short a time we are granted:
the red boats on the blue-black water,
the russet and gold of late summer’s grasses,
the empty sky. We stop and listen to the stillness.
I say, “It’s Sunday, and here we are
in the church of the out of doors,”
then wish I’d kept quiet. That’s the trick in life—
learning to leave well enough alone.
Our boats drift to where the chirring
of grasshoppers reaches us from the rocky hills.
A clap of thunder. I want to say something truer
than I love you. I want my daughter to know that,
through her, I live a life that was closed to me.
I paddle up, lean out, and touch her hand.
I start to speak then stop.