While she sits mired in windless doldrums
in the castle of our domesticity,
like Penelope weaving an endless
blanket for our empty wedding bed,
I beat my blades like wings
in quick rythmic loops
to catch the wind.
To paddle downwind
is to sail like shadows of cormorants
before a gale at twelve knots.
The kayak is carried
in the froth of whitecaps,
pushed onward with subtle tilts and leans
sliding forward until released to the next wave.
I know it’s easy to love a tail wind,
everything seems to go your way.
Gichigami glows green and blue
to the edge of the horizon.
Eventually all tailwinds end,
the tail of the kayak
skids along the surface, and
my bow points like a dowsing wand
The green and blue turns gunsmoke grey,
the sky darkens, the wind blows the tops of the waves
into blinding spray I catch on my lips.
Each blade digs into Mother Superior
like a steel rod into thickening concrete,
progress slows to four knots.
I find my the love does not diminish
in the great effort spent climbing waves,
nor does it lack joy to knife
each blade deeply past exahaustion,
because every subtle stroke keeps
the bow pointed towards home.