Years later, I was trying to describe
the way mom lost and left us, how she died
in tiny slips that carried her away
while we were watching. Where the image came
from, I don’t know—we never had a boat—
but I could see the way she drifted off
was like a rowboat, gently rocking in
a very light but cool, persistent breeze.
The line that held her to the dock had frayed
and slackened, as she slowly edged around
to face the open lake, and not the dock.
I said it, and it seemed like I could feel
the ripples of confusion blowing in.
We couldn’t reach the rope, or pull her back.
Another little gust, don’t know which one,
showed how she’d finally finished with the dock.
We couldn’t hear the splash, but she was gone.
Some shadows cross a lake that’s growing dark.
A breeze has pushed an old rowboat away.
It’s not a memory, but it carries me.
About the Author: Dan Overgaard was born and raised in Thailand. He attended Westmont College, dropped out, moved to Seattle, became a transit operator, then managed transit technology projects and programs. He’s now retired and catching up on reading. His poems have appeared in Canary Lit Mag, Shot Glass Journal, Allegro Poetry, Sweet, Triggerfish Critical Review, Poets Reading The News, The High Window and elsewhere. Read more at: danovergaard.com.
Image Credit: Frances Benjamin Johnston “Harrietta, McClellanville vic., Charleston County, South Carolina” (1938) The Library of Congress