Last week when I posted “Thirty-Foot Sloop,” a poem about my Pacific Ocean misadventure, someone asked me if I ever tried sailing again after that. Well, I have, but not on the high seas. When I visited my brother and his family in Florida, we often took trips down the Loxahatchee River, which is a lot smoother. Last year, we rented a canoe, and I wrote a poem about what happened. Click on the title below the picture to hear me read it.
My sister-in-law snapped a photo of this creature with her iPhone before she and my brother back-paddled the canoe away from it as fast as they could.
A warm March afternoon under a cloudless Florida sky,
floating down the Loxahatchee River,
I sit on the canoe bottom, cramped,
while others paddle.
In a narrow section,
where we hope to spot wildlife, it appears.
Not a snake, but still a deadly creature,
it stands among plants on the bank,
gazes at its reflection in the gleaming water.
I don’t see it–they do.
After snapping a picture,
we sail far, far away
while icy fingers of fear massage my spine.