Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, with his wife. He works in mental health, and has contributed to Cold Mountain Review, Williwaw Journal, Tiny Seeds Journal, Red Wolf Journal, and Heartwood.
My father took our Saturday slumber to a boat
with oars that creaked in rhythm
with his breath, the sun yet to appear,
and the lake greeting him
like a companion lapping
against the pier and the wood of the boat.
When he could no longer hear
the hum of the highway, he’d stop.
He did not fish, just cast a heavy bait
to test the accuracy left in his wrist,
watched waterfowl and shore birds
preen in the mist, erupt and scud,
listened to invisible frogs in reeds
where ducks would raise their young.
With one leg up on the seat
and one leg down,
one arm raised with pole to flick
and one arm tucked toward his abdomen,
like a hieroglyphic symbol
left by an ancient source,
he taught the life of water without a word.