Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Near the End, the Man

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Near the End, the Man

Article excerpt

Near the end, the man

who built a boat with his life

must dismantle it, without regret,

plank by plank,

and build a new one, lovingly,

cloudshaped and light.

Nailed not with grief,

measured not with pride,

but woven, humbly, like hands offering prayer.

The boat that will bring him

to the shore of a deep

abiding happiness waits to be built.

The man has yet to believe this,

the man who has never perceived

a single loss he couldn't fix.

Gauging his will and desire

against the latitudes, the logical

gridwork, he hammered a map

to reach any fixed point.

The boat he built of his own design

he prepared abundantly, mooring at the feet

of a chosen one who took his hand

and alighted, a tender step at a time.

She came aboard, took up his dream.

He seemed to know something about the stars.

He seemed to know where he was going.

She cast her lot with his.

The bountiful branching of offspring

swelled the boat to capacity. …

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