Thursday, June 11, 1998

Red Kayak

I wrote this for my dad for Father's Day in 1998.

Red Kayak
I was five
We built it of canvas and wood, and
You let me help paint it
Bright red as my bicycle
It still smelled of paint and glue
When we carried it to the Ocean
Which was and still is
The largest thing I've ever seen
But I wasn't worried (much)
Because my dad was
The strongest man in the world
And smarter than the ocean
You put me in the kayak
Got in behind me
And we began paddling
I could not see over the wave
Until we crested it, and the
Sunlight dazzled my eyes
Across the brown water
I could hear you singing
As you pulled at the water
The biggest wave in the Ocean
Crested before us
I wanted to cry out and drop my paddle
But you had given me a job to do
And a paddle to help keep the boat straight
And you were not afraid
The wave crested in front of us
And we glided over the water
I was close to the world
Close to the water
And close to my father
Nothing could hurt me
We turned to shore
And landed the red kayak
I don't recall ever going out in it again
But I've returned to that Ocean many times
Grasped my paddle and pulled the water
And knew that you were behind me
The first man I ever met
And still the best man I ever met
Singing and pulling the water with me.