Canoes Have No Winter Purpose

The red and blue canoes stored on shore
Seem so forlorn in the cold
October air.  If it were a man,
Standing alone day after day
Against the dimming of
Late autumn’s overcast light,
He’d be filled with despair—
Knowing he wouldn’t go swimming
Till tilting season returns to
Longer, warmer days come Spring.
How would you feel—
Deprived of purpose, useless,
Waiting so close to the water…
Holding onto desire until May?

It was built for the lake,
When flowing currents run strong,
Curving walls as fluid as the water,
Gravity centered to deflect
Water from pouring over the side.
Oak paddles strain against the flow,
Ribbed muscles trembling in the race to
Glide gracefully through wind on the lake.

Now the unmarked shells
Lie inverted, like a small cathedral…
They sit with no employment;
Serve no winter purpose…
Splintered paddles rest horizontal
Against the fence, absorbed in
Splash of fall colors fading on the hills,
Reflections on the water, sadly
Waiting for the covering of snow.

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