Spring 2008

Volume 3, Issue 1



Rowing Lessons


My mother said,
You must sit backwards
to row a boat.
Pick a tree across the way,
hold it on twelve o'clock
behind you, before you
that's how you must steer
from the boat's center.

My father said,
Push down through air
up through water.
Watch your tree
fall away, even when
you feel like you're
drawing it closer
with every pull.

I've learned that
now and then
you can sneak a look
behind you
to see what's ahead
which is always arriving.
But mostly they were right,
everything falls away
in spite of you
because of you.



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© 2008 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture