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The Old Man and The Kayak

February 26, 2010

by Steve Meador

There are no cherry or oak bouquets,
no earthy or blackberry aftertastes.
Cost analysis and income streams
drift to the bank in a glycerin wake.
Cell phone tones travel at the speed
of light to Saturn where they bounce
off rings and get redirected to Pluto.
Terror and misery have crossed borders,
lie at the doorstep, reside in the remote,
but remain in dry dock at home. As do
Hemingway’s words of rougher seas.

Here, a damselfly in distress is plucked
from water the color of a healing bruise
and placed on a tawny iris, to dry its wings.
Two water striders skate in a winner-take-all
race. The loser gets the belly of the bass
lurking near the roots of a rotting stump.
A moccasin slides through pickerelweed,
chasing the plunk and whisk of my paddle,
but will cower and retreat at the first taste
of brine that slithers in from the Gulf.
Ahead, ripples and sunset form a horizon.

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Steve Meador’s book Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, released by D-N Publishing in 2008, was an entrant for a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He has been widely published, resulting in several Pushcart nominations. Pudding House released two of his chapbooks in 2007.

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  1. February 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Beautiful poem. After the golf courses trundled over by old men dressed as children, after the factory outlet malls and the roar of spring training comes Florida, the one in your poem. The one that matters so much more.

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