POEM: low plank


low plank

it sounds silly, plank
it means “flat” in Latin
a board or a piece
of a party platform
(speaking of “bored”)

with a cutlass and
an eyepatch it takes on
a whole new meaning,
ending in water as
the ship sails out of view

one finger, then two, then
three like in the cartoons
I never understood that
if you have the presence
of mind to count, why not swim?

in Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man
Burt’s boat takes on the colors
of the rainbow, each plank
a reminder of a neighbor
or a job well done

it’s a long book, one neither of
my kids ever had the patience for
but sometimes I’d finish it myself
after they’d fallen asleep
their breathing like a gentle surf

10 June 2013
Auburn, AL

/ / /

I’m writing a poem a day in 2013. During June, each day’s poem will be inspired by a photo of writer Arielle Brousse doing yoga. I’ve been a fan of her writing for years. Arielle writes the Unforgettable Detritus blog and curates The Sensible Nonsense Project, a collection of writing about people’s favorite childhood books. Thank you to Arielle for allowing me to use the photos, and for all the entertaining and inspiring writing she’s done over the years.

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