Saturdays we launch
Our tinny boat in nearby water,
The outboard burning oil
Until it finds its stroke.
My father lights a cigarette
Whose smoke will cord across his face
And scatter into nothing
As he throttles.
Somehow, physics lift the bough,
But can’t quite hold the weight.
My hand to sift the greenish mist
Erupting when it falls,
And if I haven’t braced,
A wooden seat is keen
Against my thighs,
But I remember to.
When the wheel is mine,
I’ll circle back and hit our wake,
And wind will fill my laughter
As my father’s greying hair lay
Cold and black across his brow,
An outstretched hand whose Camel
Loses smoke in hurried laces.
In a year or two we’ll sell the boat,
But now I’m not too sharp to that,
The choppy lake
A rhythm at the hull
To count for Saturdays.