UNDER MORNING SUN IN A CLOUDLESS SKY | Ellen Sazzman

 

Under morning sun in a cloudless sky

 

his balded head squeezed into a baseball cap,

he stands at the helm of his motorboat,

 

grips the tiller of the outboard

and revs up the throttle.  The rest of us,

 

puffy in neon life jackets,

grab the bow’s gunwales and hang on

 

as the prow starts to rise and fall

and the boat accelerates, leaving behind

 

the slow drip of vein-flooding infusions. 

We speed faster and faster, lifting up, thwacking

 

down against the water’s shellacked surface –

my stomach heaves

 

and we bounce ever higher in the wake,

boats skittering out of our path shooting straight

 

toward the low-hanging Sassafras River bridge

we’ll never clear and I turn panicked

 

to see the look on his face of lunacy or lucidity

as he pulls harder on the throttle to take us

 

good friends together on his truncated journey

before he turns the boat starboard

 

in a graceful arc the way gulls curve up and away.


Ellen Sazzman has recently been published in Moment, Comstock Review, Beltway Quarterly, Common Ground, CALYX, and Poetica, among others. She was a winner of the 2016 Moving Words Poetry Competition and a finalist in the 2010 Split This Rock poetry contest. She received Northern Virginia Review’s 2012 outstanding poetry award, a Pushcart nomination from Bloodroot Literary Magazine, and honorable mentions in the Anna Rosenberg poetry contest. She is a mother, grandmother and retired lawyer living in Maryland. 

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