Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Boat

The Boat

He sensed the men around him,
Moving in the lightening mist which was
Turning gold in the sunrise.

He sensed the men looking in different
directions, waiting for him to speak first.
He sensed them, but he couldn’t look.
He could only look at the boat.

The Mekong River flowed through the engine room,
Fish nestled in the bedroom.
Hyacinths caught on the railing of the porch.
The walls, once had the well groomed sheen of
A healthy animal,

He had dreams of traveling with his boat,
To visit the people who live along the river.
His dreams, nourished by the muddy waters,
Turning the brown of a mud road.

He called his nephew to bring some rice whiskey
And some food for breakfast.
He made the wei to his friends, the symbol of
Greeting and respect.
“Please brothers, join me. We will eat and drink
together, to have a funeral for the boat.”

He poured the first glass of alcohol and lifted it to his
Friends’ good health, and for the journey the boat will take
Without him.

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