Lifejacket | Tracy Steinhandler
If I were to slide off the side of this boat
as it skids on the face of our shimmering lake
or rocks in a shade-dappled cove as you fish,
would I ruin the ripples, create my own circles
and swim with the small ones you catch and release?
Would I float on the surface,
caressed by the waves stretching out between banks like opaque textured glass
or sink like the anchor attached to the rope and
stick in the muck while other boats pass?
Whispers nudge dank algae along the lazy, living currents
and force the trees to bend, beckon;
I wonder if you
soiled, though still sturdy,
baked to a faded orange by the pummeling sun
will really keep me from drowning.